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3 3433' 08169096 2 


' V ^ 




V A 








Who was carried off from Aberdeen^ 
and sold for a Slave, 

JL IsTE-W E3Dia?IOIsr. 



* ^ "t. " I 'f W V 1 


ITF ''Z':^I YCliK 

PUBLIC l;bxary 




He who reads the life of Peter Williamson will find it fraught 
with much useful instruction. The language in which it is 
narrated is a sufiicient proof that its author was no designing 
man, who intended to impose on the credulity of the vulgar, and 
satiate their appetite for the marvellous, by the account of his 
sufferings. Were not the facts sufficiently vouched for, we would 
almost suppose that, while reading his nair-breadth escapes, we 
were perusm^some tale of romance, or the fanciful production of 
some ingenious novelist. But the tale is too true ; the crime of 
kidnapping made more sufferers than Williamson, and Aberdeen 
was not tSe only place disgraced by this horrible traffic It is 
useless — it is worse than useless — it is absolutely criminal to 
argue, that children of nine or ten years were able to indent 
themselves, and to implement articles of agreement which were 
never meant to be fulfilled — nay, where ptsrsonal liberty is con- 
cerned, even although the person had arrived at the years of 
maturity, it is a right which he could neither give nor sell ; in 
corroboration of this I shall adduce the opinion of the celebrated 
Rousseau, in his treaty on the Social Compact, he thus writes : 
" To renounce one's personal liberty is to renounce one*s very 
being as a man ; it is to renounce not only the rights but also 
the duties of humanity. And what possible indemnification can 
be made to the man who thus gives up his all ? Such a remu- 
neration is incompatible with our very nature ; for to deprive us 
of the liberty of will, is to take away all morality firom our 
actions. In a word, a convention which, on the one part 
stipulates absolute authority, and on the other implicit obe- 
dience, is in itself futile and contradictory." Such then is a just 
view of those indentures for life, which were held out by the 
kidnappers as just and lawful. But here let us observe, that 
their crime assumes a blacker die when we take into consider- 
ation the circumstance that these indentures were never proposed 
until they had actual possession of the bodies of their victims ; it 
matters not how this possession was obtained, whether by cajol- 
ing artifices, or absolute violence, they were in durance, and no . 
opposition would have availed, nor would resistance have frustrat- 
ed the designs of their enslavers. When the prisoners were 
landed in Virginia or Carolina, they discovered their true 



situation ; driven like beasts of burden to a market place, they 
were exposed for sale, and given accordingly to the highest 
bidder, let his character or principles be what they may. Think, 
reader, for a moment, that your brother, the companion of your 
sports, the friend of your heart, one night disappeared and was 
seen no more — that the grief and sorrow of your parents were 
bringing them fast to the grave ; and that, though years might 
roll, they brought no tidings of their lost child ; and that their 
last prayers were breathed for the ever-lost boy. And this was 
many a brother's — many a parent's lot. Or did chance, at some 
long future period, bring the doubtful intelligence that he was 
alive on some far distant shore — a mother's heart would yearn, 
and a father's grief would be in vain supprest — they would mourn 
for the living as the dead — to them he would be dead; and, 
dreading, doubting, hoping, they would die, with the sad, yet 
consoling anticipation, that a few years after and they would 
embrace their child in that happy land where oppressors could 
no more part them, but where **God the Lord would wipe all 
tears from their eyes." One thought more on this subject, 
those who were kidnapped were persons who, having felt the 
blessings of liberty, would therefore be more susceptible of the 
horrors of slavery : they were fit for the enjo5nnent of a state of 
liberty by education and by birth, and the awful novelty of 
being slaves would therefore present itself to their view in its 
most aggravated form. All their high hopes would be crushed, 
all their youthful day-dreams would vanish as airy phantoms, and 
the cruel reality of their hopeless situation would mock all their 
fancied prospects of future worldly bliss. Well may we con- 
gratulate ourselves that these days have gone by, and that no 
oppressor, however rich and powerful, can devote us at the 


It would be well if we could say as much of every class of 
subjects. There is a race whose only crime is their complexion, 
and whose only vice is their want of education — a want which 
their iron-hearted oppressors will not allow to be supplied — and 
this race is liable to tenfold greater calamities than did ever befal 
our infatuate fellow-citizens of Aberdeen, even when the practice 
of kidnapping was carried on in its most villainous extent. The 
slaves in the West Indies — for it is to them we allude — are the 
objects of the sympathy of Christendom. Already have the most 
of its states declared the crime of man-stealing to be piracy, and 
therefore punishable with death ; but still the nefarious traffic is 
pursued, and in spite of the vigilance evinced by our cruisers, 
thousands are dragged from their homes to wear out a listless 
life of dreary solitude. In vain are laws enacted when interest 


and prejudice so strongly warp the minds of the planters, that 
justice and morality are excluded, and rapine and oppression 
necessarily domineer in their breasts. It has been often argued 
that the slaves in the West Indies are not the victims of oppres- 
sion, that they are well treated, and, in many cases, that they 
live more comfortably than our artisans do at home. But grant- 
ing that it were the case that the slaves were well treated, what 
does it bear against the general argument ? Nothing at all ; for 
it will not matter whether the chain with which he is fettered be 
made of iron or of gold, it is equally strong. The wretch who is 
secured with a silken cord is as much a prisoner as he who is 
bound with hemp. 





HE reader is not here to expect a large 
and useless detail of the transactions of 
late years, in that part of the world where, 
ever bince my infancy, it has been my 
111 is fortune to have lived. Was it in my 
. |i;juc;[\ indeed, to set off with pompous 
-J diction, and embellish with artificial 
descriptions, what has so engrossed the attention of 
Europe, as well as the scenes of action for some years 
past, perhaps I might ; but my poor pen being wholly 
unfit for such a task, and never otherwise employed 
than just for my own affairs and amusement, while I 
had the pleasure of living tranquil and undisturbed, I 
must beg leave to desist from such an attempt; and if 
such is expected from me, claim the indulgence of that 
pardon which is never refused to those incapacitated 
of performing what may be desired of them. And as 
a plain, impartial, and succinct narrative of my own 
life, and various vicissitudes of fortune, is all that I 
now shall aim at, I shall herein confine myself to plain 
simple truth, and, in the dictates resulting from an 
honest heart, give the reader no other entertainment 


than what shall be matter of fact ; and of such things 
as have actually happened to me, or come to my own 
knowledge in the sphere of life in which it has been 
my lot to be placed. Not but I hope I may be allow- 
ed, now and then, to carry on my narrative from the 
information I have received of such things as relate to 
my design, though they have not been done or trans- 
acted in my presence. 

It being usual in narratives like this, to give a short 
account of the author's birth, education, and juvenile 
exploits, the same being looked upon as necessary, or 
at least a satisfactory piece of information to the curious 
and inquisitive reader, I shall, without boasting of a 
family I am no way entitled to, or recounting adven- 
tures in my youth to which I was entirely a stranger, in 
a short manner gratify such curiosity ; not expecting, 
as I said before, to be admired for that elegance of style, 
and profusion of words, so universally made use of in 
details and histories of those adventurers who have of 
late years obliged the world with their anecdotes and 
memoirs, and which have had scarce any other exist- 
ence than in the brains of a bookseller's or printer's 
garreteer, who, from fewer incidents, and less surprising 
matter, than will be found in this short narrative, have 
been, and are daily enabled to spin and work out their 
elaborate performances to three or four volumes. 


Know, therefore, that I was born in Hirnlay, in t)ie 
Parish of Aboyne, and County of Aberdeen, North 
Britain, if not of rich, yet of reputable parents, who 
supported me in the best manner they could, as long 
as they had the happiness of having me under their 
inspection ; but fatally for me, and to their great grief, 
as it afterwards proved, I was sent to live with an aunt 
at Aberdeen. When under the years of pupillarity, 
playing on the quay, with others of my companions, 
being of a stout, robust constitution, I was taken 
notice of by two fellows belonging to a vessel in the 
harbour, employed (as the trade then was) by some of 
the worthy merchants in the town, in that villainous 
and execrable practice called Kidnapping; that is, 
stealing young children from their parents, and selling 
them as slaves in the plantations abroad. Being 
marked out by these monsters of impiety as their prey, 
I was cajoled on board the ship by them, where I was 
no sooner got, than they conducted me between the 
decks to some others they had kidnapped in the same 
manner. At that time I had no sense of the fate that 
was destined for me, and spent the time in childish 
amusements with my fellow sufferers in the steerage, 
being never suffered to go upon deck whilst the vessel 
lay in the harbour, which was until such a time as 
they had got in their loading, with a complement of 
unhappy youths for carrying on their wicked commerce. 
In about a month's time the ship set sail for America. 
The treatment we met with, and the trifling incidents 
which happened during the voyage, I hope I may be 
excused from relating, as not being at that time of an 
age sufficient to remark anything more than what must 
occur to everyone on such an occasion. However, I 


cannot forget that, when we arrived on the coast we 
were destined for, a hard gale of wind sprung up from 
the S.K, and, to the captain's great surprise (he not 
thinking he was near land) although having been eleven 
weeks oh the passage, about twelve o'clock at night the 
ship struck on a sand-bank off Cape May, near the 
Capes of Delaware, and to the great terror and affright 
of the ship's company, in a short time was almost full 
of water. The boat was then hoisted out, into which 
the captain, and his fellow villains — the crew — got with 
some difficulty, leaving me, and my deluded com- 
panions, to perish, as they then naturally concluded 
inevitable death to be our fate. Often, in my dis- 
tresses and miseries since, have I wished that such had 
been the consequence, when in a state of innocence ; 
but Providence though proper to reserve me for future 
trials of its goodness. Thus abandoned and deserted, 
without the least prospect of relief, but threatened 
every moment with death, did these villains leave us. 
The cries, the shrieks, and tears of a parcel of infants, 
had no effect on, or caused the least remorse in the 
breasts of these merciless wretches. Scarce need I say, 
to which to give the preference ; whether to such as 
these who have had the opportunity of knowing the 
Christian religion; or to the savages hereinafter de- 
scribed, who profane not the gospel, or boast of 
humanity, and if they act in a more brutal and 
butcherly manner, yet it is to their enemies, for the 
sake of plunder and the rewards offered them, for their 
principles are alike, the love of sordid gain being both 
their motives. The ship being on a sandbank, which 
did not give way to let her deeper, we lay in the same 
deplorable condition until morning, when, though we 
saw the land of Cape May, at about a mile's distance, 
we knew no what would be our fate. 

The wind at length abated, and the captain (unwiU- 


ing to lose all her cargo), about ten o'clock, sent some 
of his crew in a boat to the ship's side to bring us on 
shore, where we lay in a sort of a camp, made of the 
sails of the vessel, and such other things as we could 
get. The provisions lasted us until we were taken in 
by a vessel bound to Philadelphia, lying on this island, 
as well as I can recollect, near three weeks. Very 
little of the cargo was saved undamaged, and the 
vessel entirely lost 

When arrived and landed at Philadelphia, the capital 
of Pennsylvania, the captain had soon people enough 
who came to buy us. He, making the most of his 
villainous loading, after his disaster, sold us at about 
;^i6 per head. What became of my unhappy com- 
panions I never knew ; but it was my lot to be sold to 
one of my countrymen, whose name was Hugh Wilson, 
a North Briton, for the term of seven years, who had in 
his youth undergone the same fate as myself, having 
been kidnapped from St. Johnstown, in Scotland. As 
I shall often have occasion to mention Philadelphia 
during the course of my adventures, I shall, in this 
' place, give a short and concise description of the finest 
city of America, and one of the best laid out in the 


This city would have been a capital fit for an empire 
had it been built and inhabited according to the pro- 
prietor's plan. Considering its late foundation, it is a 
large city, and most commodiously situated between 
the Delaware and Schuylkill, two navigable rivers. The 
former being two miles broad, and navigable 300 miles 
for small vessels. It extends in length two miles from 
the one river to the other. There are eight long streets 
two miles in length, all straight and spacious. The 


houses are stately, very numerous (being near 3000), 
and still increasing, and all carried on regularly accord- 
ing to the first plan. It has two fronts to the water, 
one on the east side facing the Schuylkill, and that 
on the west facing the Delaware. The Schuylkill being 
navigable 800 miles above the falls, the eastern part is 
most populous, where the warehouses (some three stories 
high), and wharfs are numerous and convenient All 
the houses have large orchards and gardens belonging 
to them. The merchants that reside here are numerous 
and wealthy, many of them keeping their coaches, &c. 
In the centre of the city there is a space of ten acres, 
whereon are built the state-house, market-house, and 
school-house. The former is built of brick, and has a 
prison under it. The streets have their names from the 
several sorts of timber common in Pennsylvania ; as 
Mulberry Street, Saffafras Street, Chestnut Street, Beech 
Street, and Cedar Street. The oldest church is Christ 
Church, and has a numerous congregation ; but the 
major part of the inhabitants, being at first Quakers, 
still continue so, who have several meeting-houses, and 
may not improperly be called the church, as by law 
established, being the originals. The quay is beautiful, 
and 200 feet square, to which a ship of 200 tons may 
lay her broadside. Near the town, and on the spot 
which separates it from the Schuylkill, where that river 
falls into the Delaware, is found black earth of a great 
depth, and covered with vegetation ; and which, it is 
evident, has been recently left by the water; It has 
all the character of land perfectly new, and as yet 
scarcely raised from the bed of the river. This land is 
used for meadows, and is in great estimation. It is 
acknowledged, however, to be extremely unhealthy. Be- 
tween that and Wilmington, the quality of the stone is 
quartzose ; ocher is also to be found in an imperfect 
state. As the advantages this city may boast of has 


rendered it one of the best trading towns out of the 
British empire, so in all probability it will increase in 
commerce and riches, if not prevented by party, faction, 
and religious feuds, which of late years have made it 
suffer considerably. The assemblies and courts of 
judicature are held here, as in all capitals. The French 
have no city like in all America. 

Happy was my lot in falling into my countryman's 
power, as he was, contrary to many others of his call- 
ing, a humane, worthy, honest man. Having no children 
of his own, and commiserating my unhappy condition, 
he took great care of me until I was fit for business, 
and about the 12th year of my age sent me about little 
trifles, in which state I continued until my 14th year, 
when I was more fit for harder work. During such my 
idle state, seeing my fellow-servants often reading and 
writing, it incited in me an inclination to learn, which 
I intimated to my master, telling him I should be very 
willing to serve a year longer than the contract by 
which I was bound, if he would indulge me in going to 
school ; this he readily agreed to, saying that winter 
would be the best time. It being then summer, I 
waited with impatience for the other season ; but to 
make some progress in my design, I got a primer, and 
learned as much from my fellow-servants as I could. 
At school, where I went every winter for five years, I 
made tolerable proficiency, and have ever since been 
improving myself at leisure hours. 

With diis good master I continued till I was seven- 
teen years old, when he died, and, as a reward for my 
faithftil service, he left me ;^2oo currency, which was 
then about ^£1^0 sterling, his best horse, saddle, and 
all his wearing apparel. 

Being now my own master, having money in my 
pocket, and all other necessaries, I employed myself in 
jobbing about the country, working for any one that 


would employ me, for near seven years, when thinking 
I had money sufficient to follow some better way of life, 
I resolved to settle, but thought one step necessary 
thereto was to be married, for which purpose I applied 
to the daughter of a substantial planter^ and found my 
suit was not unacceptable to her or her father, so that 
matters were soon concluded upon, and we married. 
My father-in-law, in order to establish us in the world 
in an easy, if not affluent manner, made me a deed of 
gift of a track of land, that lay (unhappily for me as it 
has since proved) on the frontiers of the province of 
Pennsylvania, near the forks of Delaware, in Berks 
county, containing about 200 acres, 30 of which were 
well cleared, and fit for immediate use, whereon was a 
good house and barn. The place pleasing me well, I 
settled on it, though it cost me the major part of my 
money in buying stock, household furniture, and imp- 
lements for out-door work ; and happy as I was in a 
good wife, yet did my felicity last me not long, for 
about the year 1754 the Indians, in the French interest, 
who had for a long time before ravaged and destroyed 
other parts of America unmolested, I may very properly 
say, began to be very troublesome on the frontiers of 
our province, where they generally appeared in small 
skulking parties, with yellings^ shoutings, and antic 
postures, instead of trumpets and drums, committing 
great devastations. The Pennsylvanians little imagined 
at first that the Indians, guilty of such outrages and 
violence, were some of those who pretended to be in 
the English interest, which, alas! proved to be too true 
to many of us, for, like the French in Europe, without 
regard to faith or treaties, they suddenly break out into 
furious, rapid outrages and devastations, but soon retire 
precipitately, having no stores or provisions but what 
they meet with in their incursions. Some, indeed, carry 
a bag with biscuit or Indian corn therein, but not unless 


they have a long march to their destined place of action. 
And those French, who were sent to dispossess us in 
that part of the world, being indefatigable in their 
duty, and continually contriving and using all manner 
of ways and means to win the Indians to their interest, 
many of whom had been too negligent, and sometimes, 
I may say, cruelly treated by those who pretend to be 
their proctectors and friends, found it no very difficult 
matter to get over to their interest many who belonged 
to those nations in amity with us, especially as the 
rewards they gave them were so great, they paying for 
every scalp of an English person ^£1^ sterling. 

Terrible and shocking to human nature were the 
barbarities daily committed by the savages, and are 
not to be parsJleled in all the volumes of history ! 
Scarce did a day pass but some unhappy family or other 
fell victims to French chicanery and savage cruelty. 
Terrible indeed it proved to me as well as to many 
others ; I that was now happy in an easy state of life, 
blessed with an affectionate and tender wife, who was 
possessed of all amiable qualities, to enable me to go 
through the world with that peace and serenity of 
mind which every Christian wishes to possess, became 
on a sudden one of the most unhappy and deplorable 
of mankind; scarce can I sustain the shock, which for- 
ever recoils on me, at thinking on the last time of see- 
ing that good woman. The fatal 2nd of October, 1754, 
she that day went from home to visit some of her rela- 
tions. As I staid up later than usual, expecting her 
return, none being in the house besides myself, how 
great was my surprise, terror, and affright, when about 
eleven o'clock at night I heard the dismad war-cry or war- 
whoop of the savages, which they make on such occa- 
sions, and may be expressed, Wocuh^ woach^ ha^ ha, 
hach^ woach, and to my inexpressible grief, soon found 
my house was attacked by them ; I flew to my cham- 


ber-window, and perceived them to be twelve in num- 
ber. They making several attempts to get in, I asked 
them what they wanted. They gave me no answer, 
but continued beating, and trying to get the door open. 
Judge, then, the condition I must be in, knowing the 
cruelty and merciless disposition of those savages should 
I fall into their hands. To escape which dreadful mis- 
fortune, having my gun loaded in my hand, I threat- 
ened them with death if they should not desist. But 
how vain and fruitless are the efforts of one man against 
the united force of so many, and of such merciless, 
undaunted, and bloodthirsty monsters as I had here 
to deal with. One of them that could speak a little 
English, threatened me in return, "That if I did not 
come out, they would burn me alive in the house ; " 
telling me further, what I unfortunately perceived, 
" That they were no friends to the English, but if I 
would come out and surrender myself prisoner, they 
would not kill me." My terror and distraction at hear- 
ing this is not to be expressed by words, nor easily 
imagined by any person, unless in the same condition. 
Little could I depend on the promises of such crea- 
tures, and yet if I did not, inevitable death, by being 
burned alive, must be my lot. Distracted as I was in 
such deplorable circumstances, I chose to rely on the 
uncertainty of their fallacious promises, rather than 
meet with certain death by rejecting them ;• and ac- 
cordingly went out of my house with my gun in my 
hand, not knowing what I did, or that I had it. Im- 
mediately on my approach, they rushed on me like so 
many tigers, and instantly disarmed me. Having me 
thus in their power the merciless villains bound me to 
a tree near the door ; they then went into the house, 
and plundered and destroyed everything there was in 
it, carrying off what moveables they could ; the rest, 
together with the house, which they set fire to, was 


consumed before my eyes. The barbarians, not satis- 
fied with this, set fire to my barn, stable, and outhouses, 
wherein were about 200 bushels of wheat, six cows, 
four horses, and five sheep, which underwent the same 
fate, being all entirely consumed to ashes. During 
the conflagration, to describe the thoughts, the fears, 
and misery that I felt, is utterly impossible, as it is 
even now to mention what I feel at the remembrance 

Having thus finished the execrable business about 
which they came, one of the monsters came to me with 
a tomahawk* in his hand, threatening me with the 
worst of deaths if I would not willingly go with them, 
and be contented with their way of living. This I 
seemingly agreed to, promising to do everything for 
them that lay in my power, trusting to Providence 
for the time when I might be delivered out of their 
hands. Upon this they untied me, and gave me a 
great load to carry on my back, under which I travelled 
all that night with them, full of the most terrible appre- 
hensions, and oppressed with the greatest anxiety of 
mind lest my unhappy wife should likewise have fallen 
a prey to these cruel monsters. At daybreak, my 
infernal masters ordered me to lay down my load, 
^hen, tying my hands again round a tree with a small 
cord, they then forced the blood out of my finger-ends. 
They then kindled a fire near the tree whereto I was 
bound, which filled me with the most dreadful agonies, 
concluding I was going to be made a sacrifice to their 

This narrative, O reader ! may seem dry and tedious 

* Tomahawk is a kind of hatchet, made something like our plasterers' 
hammers, about two feet long, handle and all. To take up the hatchet (or 
tomakawk) among them, is to declare war. They generally use it after 
firing their guns^ by rushing on their enemies^ and fracturing or cleaving 
their skulls with it, and very seldom fail of killing at the first blow. 


to you : my miseries and misfortunes, great as they 
have been, may be considered only as what others have 
daily met with for years past ; yet, on reflection, you 
cannot help indulging me in the recital of them, for 
to the unfortunate and distressed, recounting, our 
miseries is, in some sort, an alleviation of them. 

Permit me therefore to proceed : not by recounting 
to you the deplorable condition I was then in, for that 
is more than can be described to you, by one who 
thought of nothing less than being immediately put to 
death in the most excruciating manner these devils 
could invent. The fire being thus made, they for some 
time danced round me after their manner, with various 
odd motions and antic gestures, whooping, hallooing, 
and crying in a frightful manner, as it is their custom. 
Having satisfied themselves in this sort of their mirth, 
they proceeded in a more tragical manner, taking the 
burning coals and sticks, flaming with fire at the ends, 
holding them near my face, head, hands, and feet, with 
a deal of monstrous pleasure and satisfaction, and at 
the same time threatening to bum me entirely if I 
made the least noise or cried out. Thus tortured as 
I was, almost to death, I suffered their brutal pleasure 
without being allowed to vent my inexpressible anguish 
otherwise than by shedding tears, even which, when 
those inhuman tormentors observed, with a shocking 
pleasure and alacrity, they would take fresh coals, and 
apply near my eyes, telling me my face was wet, and 
that they would dry it for me, which indeed they 
cruelly did. How I underwent these tortures I h^ve 
here faintly described, has been matter of wonder 
to me many times ; but God enabled me to wait with 
more than common patience for a deliverance I daily 
prayed for. 

Having at length satisfied their brutal pleasure, they 
sat down round the fire, and roasted their meat, of 


which they had robbed my dwelling. When they had 
prepared it, and satisfied their voracious appetites, they 
offered some to me ; though it is easily imagined I had 
but little appetite to eat, after the tortures and miseries 
I had undergone, yet was I forced to seem pleased 
with what they offered me, lest, by refusing it, they 
had again resumed their hellish practices. What I 
could not eat I contrived to get between the bark and 
the tree where I was fixed, they having unbound my 
hands until they imagined I had eat all they gave me ; 
but then they again bound me as before, in which 
deplorable condition was I forced to continue all that 
day. When the sun was set they put out the fire, and 
covered the ashes with leaves, as is their usual custom, 
that the white people might not discover any traces or 
signs of their having been there. 

Thus had these barbarous wretches finished their 
last diabolical piece of work, and shocking as it may 
seem to the humane English heart, yet what I under- 
went was but trifling, in comparison to the torments 
and miseries which I was afterwards an eye-witness of 
being inflicted on others of my unhappy fellow creatures. 

Going from thence along by the river Susquehana 
for the space of six miles, loaded as I was before, we 
arrived at a spot near the Apalachian mountains, or 
Blue Hills, where they hid their plunder under logs of 
wood. And, oh, shocking to relate ! from thence did 
these hellish monsters proceed to a neighbouring house, 
occupied by one Joseph Snider and his unhappy family, 
consisting of his wife, five children, and a young man, 
his servant. They soon got admittance into the un- 
fortunate man's house, where they immediately, without 
the least remorse, and with more than brutal cruelty, 
scalped* the tender parents and the unhappy children : 

* Scalping is taking off the skin from the top of the head, which they per- 
form with a long knife which they hang round their necks, and always carry 


nor could the tears, the shrieks, or cries of these 
unhappy victims, prevent their horrid massacre ; for 
having thus scalped them, and plundered the house of 
every thing that was moveable, they set fire to the same, 
where the poor creatures met their final doom amidst 
the flames, the hellish miscreants standing at the door, 
or as near the house as the flames would permit them, 
rejoicing, and echoing back in their diabolical manner, 
the piercing cries, heart-rending groans, and paternal 
and affectionate soothings, which issued from this 
most horrid sacrifice of an innocent family. Sacrifice ! 
I think I may properly call it, to the aggrandizing the 
ambition of a king who wrongly styles himself Most 
Christian ! For, had these savages been never tempted 
with the alluring bait of all-powerful gold, myself, as 
well as hundreds of others, might still have lived most 
happily in our stations. If Christians countenance, 
nay, hire those wretches to live in a continual repeti- 
tion of plunder, rapine, murder, and conflagration, in 
vain are missionaries sent, or sums expended, for the 
propogation of the gospel. But these sentiments, 
with many others, must, before the end of this narra- 
tive, occur to every humane heart. Therefore to 
proceed — Not contented with what these infernals had 
already done, they still continued their inordinate 
villainy, in making a general conflagratoin of the bam 
and stables, together with all the com, horses, cows, 
and every thing on the place. 

Thinking the young man belonging to this unhappy 
family would be of some service to them in carrying 

with them. They cut the skin round as much of the head as they think proper, 
sometimes quite round from the neck and forehead, then take it m their finders 
and pluck it off, and often leave the unhappy creatures, so served, to die in a 
most miserable manner. Some who are not cut too deep in the temples and 
skull, live in horrid torments many hours, and sometimes a day or two after. 
The scalps, or skins thus taken off, they preserve and carry home in triumph, 
where they receive, as is said before, a considerable sum for every one. 


part of their hellish acquired plunder, they spared his 
life, and loaded him and myself with what they had 
here got, and again marched to the Blue Hills, where 
they stowed their goods as before. My fellow-sufferer 
could not long bear the cruel treatment which we were 
both obliged to suffer, and complaining bitterly to me 
of his being unable to proceed any farther, I en- 
deavoured to condole him as much as lay in my power, 
to bear up under his afflictions, and wait with patience 
till by the divine assistance we should be delivered out 
of their clutches ; but all in vain, for he still continued 
his moans and tears, which, one of the savages per- 
ceiving, as we travelled on, instantly came up to us, 
and with his tomahawk gave him a blow on the head, 
which felled the unhappy youth to the ground, where 
they immediately scalped and left him. The sudden- 
ness of this murder shocked me to that degree, that I 
was in a manner like a statue, being quite motionless, 
expecting my fate would soon be the same : however, 
recovering my distracted thoughts, I dissembled the 
uneasiness and anguish which I felt, as well as I could, 
from the barbarians ; but still, such was the terror that 
I was under, that for some time I scarce knew the days 
of the week, or what I did, so that, at this period, life 
indeed became a burden to me, and I regretted being 
saved from my first persecutors, the sailors. 

The horrid fact being completed, they kept on their 
course near the mountains, where they lay skulking 
four or five days, rejoicing at the plunder and store 
they had got. When provisions became scarce, they 
made their way towards Susquehana, where still, to 
add to the many barbarities they had already com- 
mitted, passing near another house inhabited by an 
unhappy old man, whose name was John Adams, with 
his wife and four small children ; and, meeting with no 
resistance, they immediately scalped the unhappy wife 

and her four children, before the good old man's eyes. 
Inhuman and horrid as this was, it did not satiate them ; 
for when they had murdered the poor woman, they 
acted with her in such a brutal manner, as decency, 
or the remembrance of the crime, will not permit me 
to mention; and this even before the unhappy husband, 
who, not being able to avoid the sight, and incapable 
of affording her the least relief, entreated them to put 
an end to his miserable being ; but they were as deaf 
and regardless to the tears, prayers, and entreaties of 
this venerable sufferer, as they had been to those of 
the others, and proceeded in their hellish purpose of 
burning and destroying his house, bam, cattle, hay, 
com, and every thing the poor man a few hours before 
was master of. Having saved what they thought pro- 
per from the flames, they gave the old man, feeble, 
weak, and in the miserable condition he then was, as 
well as myself, burdens to carry, and loading themselves 
likewise with bread and meat, pursued their journey on 
towards the Great Swamp, where, being arrived, they 
lay for eight or nine days, sometimes diverting them- 
selves in exercising the most atrocious and barbarous 
cmelties on their unhappy victim, the old man : some- 
times they would strip him naked, and paint him all 
over with various sorts of colours, which they extracted, 
or made from, herbs and roots : at other times they 
would pluck the white hairs from his venerable beard, 
and tauntingly tell him he was a fool for living so lon^^ 
and that they would shew him kindness in putting him 
out of the world ; to all which the poor creature could 
but vent his sighs, his tears, his moans, and entreaties, 
that, to my affrighted imagination, were enough to 
penetrate a heart of adamant, and soften the most 
obdurate savage. In vain, alas! were all his tears, 
for daily did they tire themselves with the various 
means they tried to torment him ; sometimes tying 


him to a tree, and whipping him ; at others, scorching 
his furrowed cheeks with red-hot coals, and burning 
his legs, quite to the knees ; but the good old man, 
instead of repining, or wickedly arraigning the divine 
justice, like many others in such cases, even in the 
greatest agonies, incessantly offered up his prayers to 
the Almighty, with the most fervent thanksgivings for 
his former mercies, and hoping the flames, then sur- 
rounding and burning his aged limbs, would soon send 
him to the blissful mansions of the just, to be a partaker 
of the blessings there. And during such his pious 
ejaculations, his infernal plagues would come round 
him, mimicking his heart-rending groans and piteous 
wailings. One night after he had thus been tormented, 
whilst he and I were sitting together condoling each 
other at the misfortunes and miseries we daily suffered, 
twenty scalps and three prisoners were brought in by 
another party of Indians. They had unhappily fallen 
in their hands in Cannocojigge, a small town near the 
river Susquehana, chiefly inhabited by the Irish. 
These prisoners gave us some shocking accounts of 
the murders and devastations committed in their parts. 
The various and complicated actions of these barbarians 
would entirely fill a large volume, but what I have 
already written, with a few other instances which I 
shall select from their information, will enable the 
reader to guess at the horrid treatment the English, 
and Indians in their interest, suffered for many years 
past. I shall therefore only mention in a brief manner 
those that suffered near the same time with myself. 
This party, who now joined us, had it not, I found, in 
their power to begin their wickedness as soon as those 
who visited my habitation, the first of their tragedies 
being on the 25th day of October, 1754, when John 
Lewis, with his wife and three small children, fell 
sacrifices to their cruelty, and were miserably scalped 


and murdered, his house, bam, and everything he pos- 
sessed, being burned and destroyed. On the 28thy 
Jacob Miller, with his wife and six of his family, 
together with everything on his plantation, underwent 
the same fate. The 30th, the house, mill, bam, twenty 
head of cattle, two teams of horses, and everything 
belonging to the unhappy George Folke, met with the 
like treatment ; himself, wife, and all his miserable 
family, consisting of nine in number, being inhumanly 
scalped, then cut in pieces and given to the swine, 
which devoured them. I shall give another instance 
of the numberless and unheard-of barbarities they 
related of these savages, and proceed to their own 
tragical end. In short, one of the substantial traders 
belonging to the province, having business that called 
him some miles up the country, fell into the hands of 
these devils, who not only scalped him, but immediately 
roasted him before he was dead ; then, like cannibals 
for want of other food, eat his whole body, and of his 
head made what they called an Indian pudding. 

From these few instances of savage cruelty, the 
deplorable situation of the defenceless inhabitants, and 
what they hourly suffered in that part of the globe, 
must strike the utmost horror to a human soul, and 
cause in every breast the utmost detestation, not only 
against the authors of such tragic scenes, but against 
those who through perfidy, inattention, or pusillani- 
mous and erroneous principles, suffered these savages 
at first, unrepelled, or even unmolested, to commit 
such outrages and incredible depredations and mur- 
ders : for no torments, no barbarities that can be 
exercised on the human sacrifices they get into their 
power, are left untried or omitted. 

The three prisoners that were brought with these 
additional forces, constantly repining at their lot, and 
almost dead with their excessive hard treatment. 


contrived at last to make their escape ; but being far 
from their own settlements, and not knowing the 
country, were soon after met by some others of the 
tribes or nations at war with us, and brought back to 
their diabolical masters, who greatly rejoiced at having 
them again in their infernal power. The poor creatures, 
almost famished for want of sustenance, having had 
none during the time of their elopement, were no 
sooner in the clutches of the barbarians, than two of 
them were tied to a tree, and a great fire made round 
them, where they remained till they were terribly 
scorched and burnt; when one of the villains, with 
his scalping knife, ript open their bellies, took out 
their entrails, and burnt them before their eyes, whilst 
the others were cutting, piercing, anjd tearing the flesh 
from their breasts, hands, arms, and legs, with red hot 
irons, till they were dead. The third unhappy victim 
was reserved a few hours longer, to be, if possible, 
sacrificed in a more cruel manner : his arms were tied 
close to his body, and a hole being dug deep enough 
for him to stand upright, he was put therein, and earth 
rammed and beat in all round his body, up to the neck, 
so that his head only appeared above the ground ; they 
then scalped him, and there let him remain for three 
or four hours in the greatest agonies, after which they 
made a small fire near his head, causing him to suffer 
the most excruicating torments imaginable, whilst the 
poor creature could only cry for mercy in killing him 
immediately, for his brains were boiling in his head. 
Inexorable to all his plaints, they continued the fire, 
whilst, shocking to behold, his eyes gushed out of their 
sockets, and such agonising torments did the unhappy 
creature suffer for near two hours, till he was quite 
dead ! They then cut of his head and buried it with 
the other bodies, my task being to dig the graves, 
which, feeble and terrified as I was, the dread of 


suffering the same fate enabled me to do. I shall not 
here take up the reader's time, in vainly attempting to 
describe what I felt on such an occasion, but continue 
my nan-ative as more equal to my abilities. 

A great snow now falling, the barbarians were a 
little fearful lest the white people should, by their 
traces, find out their skulking retreats, which obliged 
them to make the best of their way to their winter 
quarters, about two hundred miles farther from any 
plantations or inhabitants; where, after a long and 
tedious journey, being almost starved, I arrived with 
this infernal crew. The place where we were to rest, 
in their tongue, is called Alamingo. There were found 
a number of wigwams* full of their women and chil- 
dren. Dancing, shooting, and shouting were their 
general amusements; and in all their festivals and 
dances they relate what successes they have had, and 
what damages they have sustained in their expeditions, 
in which I became part of their theme. The severity 
of the cold increasing, they stript me of my clothes for 
their own use, and gave me such as they usually wore 
themselves, being a piece of blanket, a pair of mogganeSy 
or shoes, with a yard of coarse cloth to put round me 
instead of breeches. To describe their dress and 
manner of living may not be altogether unacceptable. 

That they in general wear a white blanket, which, in 
war time, they paint with various figures, but parti- 
cularly the leaves of trees, in order to deceive their 
enemies when in the woods. Their mogganes are made 
of deer-skins, and the best sort have them bound 
round the edges with little beads and ribbands. On 
their legs they wear pieces of blue cloth for stockings, 

^ * Wigwams are the names they eive their houses, which are no more than 
little huts, made with three or four forked stakes drove into the pjound, and 
covered with deer or other skins, or, for want of them, with large leaves 
and earth. 

some like our soldiers spatterdashes — they reach higher 
than their knees, but not lower than their ankles. They 
esteem them easy to run in. Breeches they never wear, 
but instead thereof two pieces of linen, one before and 
another behind. The better sort have shirts of the 
finest linen they can get, and to these some wear ruffles; 
but these they never put on till they have painted 
them of various colours which they get from the pecone 
root and bark of trees, and never pull them off to wash, 
but wear them till they fall to pieces. They are very 
proud, and take great delight in wearing trinkets, such 
as silver plates round their wrists and necks, with 
several strings of wampum (which is made of cotton, 
interwoven with pebbles, cockle-shells, &c.), down to 
their breasts ; and from their ears and noses they have 
rings or beads which hang dangling an inch or two. The 
men have no beards, to prevent which they use certain 
instruments and tricks as soon as it begins to grow. 
The hair of their heads is managed differently, some 
pluck out and destroy all, except a lock hanging from 
the crown of the head, which they interweave with 
wampum and feathers of various colours. The women 
wear it very long twisted down their backs, with beads, 
feathers, and wampum, and on their heads most of 
them wear little coronets of brass or copper; round 
their middle they wear a blanket instead of a petticoat. 
The females are very chaste, and constant to their hus- 
bands, and if any young maiden should happen to have 
a child before marriage, she is never esteemed after- 
wards. As for their food they get it chiefly by hunting 
and shooting, and boil or roast all the meat they eat. 
Their standing dish consists of Indian com soaked, 
then bruised and boiled over a gentle fire for ten or 
twelve hours. Their bread is likewise made of wild 
oats, or sun-flower seeds. Set meals they never regard, 
but eat when they are hungry. Their gun, tomahawk. 


scalping knife, powder and shot, are all they have to 
carry with them in time of war — bows and arrows being 

Tseldom used by them. They generally in war decline 
open engagements ; bush fighting or skulking is their 
discipline ; and they are brave when engaged, having 
great fortitude in enduring tortures and death. No 

^ people have a greater love of liberty or affection to 
their neighbours; but are the most implacably vin- 
dictive people upon the earth ; for they revenge the 
death of any relation, or any great affront, whenever 
occasion presents, let the distance of time or place be 
never so remote. To all which I may add, and which 
the reader has already observed, that they are inhu- 
manly cruel But some other nations might be more 
happy, if in some instances they copied them, and made 
wise conduct^ courage^ and personal strength^ the chief 
recommendations for war captains, or werowances^ as 
they call them. In times of peace they visit the plan- 
tations inhabited by the whites, to whom they sell 
baskets, ladles, spoons, and other such trifles, which 
they are very expert in making. When night comes^ 
if admitted into any house, they beg leave to lie down 
by the fire-side, choosing that place rather than any 
other, which is seldom refused them, if sober, for then 
they are honest ; but if drunk, are very dangerous and 
troublesome, if people enough are not in the house to 
quell them. Nor would they at any time be guilty of 
such barbarous depredations as they are, did not those 
calling themselves Christians entice them thereto with 
strong liquors, which they are vastly fond of, as well 
as by the pecuniary rewards which they gave for the 
scalps. If ambition cannot be gratified, or superiority 
obtained, otherwise than by the death of thousands, 
would it not, in those who seek such airy phantoms, 
and are so inordinately fond of their fellow creatures' 
lives, savour a little more of humanity, to have them 


killed instantly, and, if they must have proofs of murder, 
scalped afterwards, than by allowing and encouraging 
such merciless treatment, render themselves as ob- 
noxious, cruel, and barbarous, to a humane mind, as 
the very savages themselves? However, they some- 
times suffer by their plots and chicanery laid for the 
destruction of others, it often happening that the traders 
or emissaries sent to allure them to the execution of 
their schemes, rightly fall victims themselves ; for, as 
they always carry with them horse-loads of rum, which 
the Indians are fond of, they soon get drunk, quarrel- 
some, and wicked, and in their fury often kill and 
destroy their tempters : a just reward for their wicked 
designs ; nay, it had such an effect on them, that when 
so intoxicated, they even burn and consume all their 
own effects, beating, wounding, and sometimes killing 
their wives and children ; but, in disputes among them 
selves, when sober, they are very tenacious of decorum, 
never allowing more than one to speak at a time. 
Profane swearing they know not in their own language 
how to express, but are very fond of the French and 
English oaths. 

The old people, who are by age and infirmities 
rendered incapable of being serviceable to the com- 
munity, they put out of the world in a barbarous and 
extraordinary manner; an instance of which I had, 
whilst among them, an opportunity of seeing practised, 
on an old Indian. He being, through age, feeble and 
weak, and his eyes failing him, so that he was unable to 
get his living either by hunting or shooting, was sum^ 
moned to appear before several of the leading ones, 
who were to be his judges. Before whom being come, 
and having nothing to say for himself (as how indeed 
could he prove himself young ?) they very formally, and 
with a seeming degree of compassion, passed sentence 
on him to be put to death. This was soon after 


executed on him in the following manner : he was tied 
naked to a tree, and a boy, who was to be his execu- 
tioner, stood ready with a tomahawk in his hands, to 
beat his brains out ; but when the young monster came 
to inflict the sentence, he was so short of stature that he 
could not lift the tomahawk high enough, upon which 
he was was held up by some others, a great concourse 
being present ; and then, though the young devil laid 
on with all his strength, he was not for some time able 
to fracture the old man's skull, so that it was near an 
hour before he was dead ; thus are they, from their 
youth, inured to barbarity! When they found no 
remains of life in him, they put him into a hole dug in 
the ground for that purpose, in which he stood upright. 
Into his left hand they put an old gun, and hung a small 
powder-horn and shot-bag about his shoulders, and a 
string of wampum round his neck ; and into his right 
hand a little silk purse with a bit of money in it ; then 
filled the hole round, and covered him over with earth. 
This I found to be the usual manner of treating the old 
of both sexes ; only that the women are killed by young 
girls, and put into the ground with nothing but a ladle 
in one hand, and a wooden dish in the other. 

They are very strict in punishing offenders, especially 
such as commit crimes against any of the royal families. 
They never hang any ; but those sentenced to death are 
generally bound to a stake, and a great fire made round 
them, but not so near as to burn them immediately ; 
for they sometimes remain roasting in the middle of 
the flames for two or three days before they are dead. 

After this long digression, it is time to return to the 
detail of my own affairs. At Alamingo was I kept near 
two months, until the snow was off the ground. A 
long time to be amongst such creatures, and naked 
as I almost was ! whatever thoughts I might have of 
making my escape, to carry them into execution was 


impracticable, being so far from any plantations or white 
people, and the severe weather rendering my limbs in a 
manner quite stiff and motionless : however, I contrived 
to defend myself against the inclemency of the weather 
as well as I could, by making myself a little wigwam, 
with the bark of the trees, covering the same with 
earth, which made it resemble a cave ; and to prevent 
the iU effects of the cold which penetrated into it, I 
was forced to keep a good fire always near the door. 
Thus did I for near two months endure such hardships 
of cold and hunger as had hitherto been unknown to 
me. My liberty of going about was indeed more than 
I could have expected, but they well knew the imprac- 
ticability of my eloping from them. Seeing me 
outwardly easy and submissive, they would sometimes 
give me a little meat, but my chief food was Indian 
corn, dressed as I have above described. Notwith- 
standing such their civility, the time passed so tedious 
on, that I almost began to despair of ever regaining 
my liberty, or seeing my few relations again ; which, 
with the anxiety and pain I suffered, on account of my 
dear wife, often gave me inexpressible concern. 

At length the time arrived when they were preparing 
themselves for another expedition against the planters 
and white people ; but before they set out they were 
joined by many other Indians from Fort Du Quesne, 
well stored with powder and ball they had received 
from the French. 

As soon as the snow was quite gone, and no traces 
of their vile footsteps could be perceived, they set 
forward on their journey toward the back parts of the 
province of Pennsylvania, leaving their wives and 
children behind in their wigwams. They were now a 
terrible and formidable body, amounting nearly to 150. 
My duty was to carry what they thought proper to 
load me with, but they never entrusted me with a 


gun. We marched on several days without any thing 
particular occurring, almost famished for want of 
provisions ; for my part I had nothing but a few stalks 
of Indian com, which I was glad to eat dry ; nor did 
the Indians themselves fare much better, for as we 
drew near the plantations they were afraid to kill any 
game, lest the noise of their guns should alarm the 

When we again arrived at the Blue Hills, about 
thirty miles from Cannocojigge, the Irish settlement 
before mentioned, we encamped for three days, though, 
God knows, we had neither tents, nor any thing else to 
defend us from the inclemency of the air, having 
nothing to lie on by night but the grass. Their usual 
method of lodging, pitching, or camping by night, 
being in parcels of ten or twelve men to a fire, where 
they lie upon the grass or bushes, wrapt up in a 
blanket, with their feet to the fire. 

During our stay here a sort of council of war was 
held, when it was agreed to divide themselves into 
companies of about twenty men each; after which, 
every captain marched with his party where he thought, 
proper. I still belonged to my old masters, but was 
left behind on the mountains with ten Indians, to 
stay until the rest should return; not thinking it 
proper to carry me nearer Cannocojigge, or the other 

Here being left, I began to meditate on my escape ; 
and though I knew the country round extremely well, 
having been often thereabouts with my companions, 
hunting deer and other beasts, yet was I very cautious 
of giving the least suspicion of such my intention. 
However, the third day after the grand body left us, 
my companions or keepers thought proper to visit the 
mountains in search of game for their subsistence, 
leaving me bound in such a manner, that I could not 


escape. At night, when they returned, having unbound 
me, we all sat down together to supper on two polecats, 
being what they had killed, and soon after (being greatly 
fatigued with their day^s excursion) they composed 
themselves to rest as usual. Observing them to be in 
that somniferous state, I tried various ways to see 
whether it was a scheme to prove my intentions or 
not; but after making a noise and walking about, 
sometimes touching them with my feet, I found there 
was no fallacy. My heart then exulted with joy at 
seeing a time come that I might in all probability be 
delivered from my captivity, but the joy was soon 
damped by the dread of being discovered by them^ or 
taken by any straggling parties. To prevent which, I 
resolved, if possible, to get one of their guns, and if 
discovered, to die in my defence rather than be taken ; 
for that purpose I made various efforts to get one from 
under their heads (where they usually secured them) 
but in vain. Frustrated in this my first essay regarding 
my liberty, I dreaded the thoughts of carrying my 
new design into execution ; yet after a little considera- 
tion, and trusting myself to the Divine protection, 
I set forward, naked and defenceless as I was. A rash 
and dangerous enterprise ! Such was my terror, 
however, that in going from them I halted and paused 
every four or five yards, looking fearfully towards the 
spot where I had left them, lest they should awake and 
miss me ; but when I was about two hundred yards 
from them I mended my pace, and made as much 
haste as I could to the foot of the mountains, when on 
a sudden I was struck with the greatest terror and 
amaze at hearing the wood-cry, as it is called, and may 
be expressed Jo hau ! Jo hau ! which the savages I 
had left were making, accompanied with the most 
hideous cries and howling they could utter. The 
bellowing of lions, the shrieks of hyenas, or the roarings 


of tigers, would have been music to my ears in com- 
parison to the sounds that then saluted them. They 
having now missed their charge, I concluded that 
they would soon separate themselves, and hie in quest 
of me. The more my terror increased, the faster did 
I push on ; and scarce knowing where I trod, drove 
through the woods with the utmost precipitation, 
sometimes falling and bruising myself, cutting my feet 
and legs against the stones in a miserable manner, but 
though faint and maimed, I continued my flight until 
break of day, when, without having any thing to 
sustain nature but a little corn left, I crept into a 
hollow tree, in which I lay very snug, and returned 
my prayers and thanks to the Divine Being, that had 
thus far favoured my escape. But my repose was in a 
few hours destroyed at hearing the voices of savages 
near the place where I was hid, threatening and talking 
how they would use me if they got me again — that I 
was before too sensible of to have the least rest either 
in body or mind since I had left them. However, they 
at last left the spot where I had heard them, and I 
remained in my circular asylum all that day without 
further molestation. 

At night I ventured forward again, frightened and 
trembling at every bush I past, thinking each twig 
that touched me to be a savage. The third day I 
concealed myself in the like manner, and at night I 
travelled on in the same deplorable condition, keeping 
off the main road used by the Indians as much as 
possible, which made my journey many miles longer, 
and more painful and irksome than I can express. 
But how shall I describe the fear, terror, and shock 
that I felt on the fourth night, when, by the rustling 
I made among the leaves, a party of Indians, that lay 
round a small fire, which I did not perceive, started 
from the ground, and seizing their arms, ran from the 

• 35 

fire amongst the woods. Whether to move forward or 
to rest where I was I knew not, so distracted was my 
imagination. In this melancholy state, revolving in 
my thoughts the now inevitable fate I thought waited 
on me, to my great consternation and joy, I was relieved 
by a parcel of swine that made towards the place I 
guessed the savages to be, who on seeing the hogs, 
conjectured that their alarm had been caused by them, 
and very merrily returned to the fire, and lay down to 
sleep as before. As soon as I perceived my enemies so 
disposed of, with more cautious step and silent tread I 
pursued my course, sweating (though winter, and 
severely cold) with the fear I had just been relieved 
from. Bruised, cut, mangled, and terrified as I was, 
I still, through the divine assistance, was enabled to 
pursue my journey until break of day, when thinking 
myself far off from any of those miscreants I so much 
dreaded, I lay down under a great log, and slept 
undisturbed till about noon, when getting up, I reached 
the summit of a great hill with some difficulty, and 
looking out if I could spy any inhabitants of white 
people, to my unutterable joy I saw some, which I 
guessed to be about ten miles distant. 

This pleasure was in some measure abated by my not 
being able to get among them that night ; therefore, 
when evening approached, I again recommended myself 
to the Almighty, and composed my weary mangled 
limbs to rest. In the morning, as soon as I awoke, I 
continued my journey towards the nearest cleared lands 
I had seen the day before, and about four o'clock in the 
afternoon arrived at the house of John Bell, an old 
acquaintance, where knocking at the door, his wife, who 
opened it, seeing me in such a frightful condition, flew 
from me like lightning, screaming into the house. This 
alarmed the whole family, who immediately fled to their 
arms, and I was soon accosted by the master with his 


gun in his hand. But on my assuring him of my 
innocence as to any wicked intentions, and making 
myself known (for he before took me to be an Indian), 
he immediately caressed me, as did also his family, with 
a deal of friendship, at finding me alive, they having 
all been informed of my being murdered by the savages 
some months before. No longer able to support rtiy 
fatigued and worn out spirits, I fainted and fell to the 
ground. From which state having recovered me, and 
perceiving the weak and famished condition I then was 
in, they soon gave me some refreshment, but let me par- 
take of it very sparingly, fearing the ill effects too much 
would have on me. They for two or three nights very 
affectionately supplied me with all necessaries, and 
carefully attended me until my spirits and limbs were 
pretty well recruited, and I thought myself able to ride, 
when I borrowed of these good people (whose kindness 
merits my most grateful return) a horse and some 
clothes, and set forward for my father-in-law's house in 
Chester county, about 140 miles from thence, where 
I arrived on the fourth day of January, 1755; but 
scarce one of the family could credit their eyes, 
believing, with the people I had lately left, that I had 
fallen a prey to the Indians. 

Great was the joy and satisfaction wherewith I was 
received and embraced by the whole family ; but oh, 
what was my anguish and trouble, when inquiring for 
my dear wife, I found she had been dead near two 
months ! This fatal news, as every humane reader must 
imagine, greatly lessened the joy and rapture I other- 
wise should have felt at my deliverance from the dread- 
ful state of captivity I had been in. 

The news of my happy arrival at my father-in-law's 
house, after so long and strange an absence, was soon 
spread round the neighbouring plantations by the 
eountry people who continually visited me, being very 


desirous of hearing and eagerly inquiring an account 
of my treatment and manner of living among the 
Indians, in all which I satisfied them. Soon after 
this my arrival, I was sent for by his excellency Mr. 
Morris, the governor, a worthy gentleman, who examined 
me very particularly as to all incidents relating to my 
captivity, and especially in regard to the Indians, who 
had first taken me away, whether they were French or 
English parties. I assured his excellency they were of 
those who professed themselves to be friends of the for- 
mer ; and informed him of the many barbarous and 
inhuman actions I had been witness to among them, on 
the frontiers of the province ; and also that they were 
daily increasing, by others of our pretended friends 
joining them ; that they were all well supplied by the 
French with arms and ammunition, and greatly 
encouraged by them in their continual excursions and 
barbarities, not only in having extraordinary premiums 
for such scalps as they should take and carry home with 
them at their return, but great presents of all kinds, 
besides rum, powder, ball, &c., before they sallied forth. 
Having satisfied his excellency in such particulars as he 
requested, the same being put into writing, I swore to 
the contents thereof, as may be seen by those who 
doubt of my veracity, in the public papers of that time, 
as well in England as in Philadelphia. Having done 
with me, Mr. Morris gave me three pounds, and sent 
the affidavit to the assembly, who were then sitting in 
the State-house at Philadelphia, concluding on proper 
measures to check the depredations of the savages, and 
put a stop to their barbarous hostilities on the distressed 
inhabitants, who daily suffered death in a most deplor- 
able condition ; besides being obliged to abscond their 
plantations, and the country being left desolate for 
several hundred miles on the frontiers, and the poor 
sufferers could have no relief, by reason of the disputes 


between the governor and the assembly. The former 
was led by the instructions of the proprietor, which was 
entirely against the interest of the province, so that it 
caused great confusion among the people to see the 
country so destroyed, and no preparations making for 
its defence. 

However, on receiving this intelligence from his 
excellency, they immediately sent for me. When I 
arrived, I was conducted into the lower house, where the 
assembly then sat, and was there interrogated by the 
speaker, very particularly, as to all I had before given 
the governor an account of This my first examination 
lasted three hours. The next day I underwent a second 
for about an hour and a half, when I was courteously 
dismissed, with a promise that all proper methods should 
be taken, not only to accommodate and reimburse all 
those who had suffered by the savages, but to prevent 
them from committing the like hostilities for the future. 

Now returned, and once more at liberty to pursue 
my own inclinations, I was persuaded by my father-in- 
law and friends to follow some employment or other ; 
but the plantation from whence I was taken, though an 
exceeding good one, could not tempt me to settle on it 
again. What my fate would have been if I had, may 
easily be conceived. And there being at this time (as 
the assembly too late for many of us found) a necessity 
for raising men to check those barbarians in their ravag- 
ing depredations, I enlisted myself as one, with the 
greatest alacrity and most determined resolution to 
exert the utmost of my power in being revenged on the 
hellish authors of my ruin. General Shirley, governor 
of New England, and commander-in-chief of his 
Majesty's land forces in North America, was pitched 
. upon to direct the operations of the war in that part 
of the world. 

Into a regiment immediately under the command of 


this general, was it my lot to be placed for three years. 
This regiment was intended for the frontiers, to destroy 
the forts erected by the French, as soon as it should be 
completely furnished with arms, &c., at Boston, in New 
England, where it was ordered for that purpose. Being 
then very weak and infirm in body, though possessed 
of my resolution, it was thought advisable to leave me 
for two months in winter quarters, at the end of which, 
being pretty well recruited in strength, I set out for 
Boston to join the regiment, with some others likewise 
left behind ; and after crossing the river Delaware, we 
arrived at New Jersey, and from thence proceeded 
through the same by New York, Middleton, Mendon 
in Connecticut, to Boston, where we arrived about the 
end of March, and found the regiment ready to 
receive us. 

Boston being the capital of New England, and the 
largest city in America, except two or three on the 
Spanish continent, I shall here subjoin a short account 
of it. 


It is pleasantly stituated, and about four miles in com- 
pass, at the bottom of Massachusetts Bay, into which 
there is but one common and safe passage, and not very 
broad, there being scarce room for the anchorage of 500 
sail It is guarded by several rocks, and above a dozen 
islands ; the most remarkable of these islands is Castle 
Island, which stands about a league from the town, and 
so situated that no ship of burden can approach the 
town, without the hazard of being shattered in pieces by 
its cannon. It is now called Fort William, and mounted 
with 100 pieces of ordnance ; 200 more, which were 
given to the province by Queen Anne, are placed on a 


platform, so as to rake a ship fore and aft, before she can 
bring about her broadsides to bear against the castle. 
Some of these cannon are 42 pounders ; 500 able men 
are exempted from all military duty in time of war, to be 
ready, at an hour's warning, to attend the services of the 
castle, upon a signal of the approach of an enemy, which 
there seems to be no great danger of at Boston, where^ 
in 24 hours time, 10,000 effective men, well armed, 
might be ready for its defence. According to a com- 
putation of the collectors of the light-house, it appeared 
there were 24,000 tons of shipping cleared annually. 

The pier is at the bottom of the bay, 2,000 feet long, 
and runs so far into the bay, that ships of the greatest 
burden may unload without the help of boats or lighters. 
At the upper end of the chief street in the town, which 
comes down to the head of the pier, is the Town House, 
or Exchange, a fine building, containing, besides the 
walk for merchants, the Council Chamber, the House 
of Commons, and a spacious room for the Courts of 
Justice. The Exchange is surrounded with booksellers* 
shops that have a good trade — here being five printing- 
houses, and the presses generally full of work, which is 
in a great measure owing to the colleges and schools in 
New England ; and likewise at New York and Phila- 
delphia, there are several printing-houses lately erected, 
and booksellers constantly employed, as well as at 
Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Barbadoes, and 
the Sugar Islands. 

The town lies in the form of a half-moon, round the 
harbour, and consisting of about 4,000 houses, must 
make an agreeable prospect, the surrounding shore 
being high, the streets long, and the buildings beautiful. 
The pavement is kept in so good order, that to gallop 
a horse on it is 3s. 4d. forfeit. The number of inhabi- 
tants is computed at about 24,000. 

There are eight churches, the chief of which is called 


the Church of England church, besides the Baptist 
Meeting, and the Quaker Meeting. 

The conversation in this town is as polite as in most 
of the cities and towns in England. A gentleman of 
London would fancy himself at home at Boston, when 
he observes the number of people, their furniture, their 
tables, and dresses, which perhaps is as splendid and 
showy as that of most tradesmen in London. 

In this city, learning military discipline, and waiting 
for an opportunity of carrying our schemes into execu- 
tion, we lay till the ist of July, during all which time 
great outrages and devastations were committed by the 
savages in the back parts of the province. One instance 
of which, in particular, I shall relate, as being concerned 
in rewarding, according to desert, the wicked authors 

Joseph Long, Esq., a gentleman of large fortune in 
those parts, who had in his time been a great warrior 
among the Indians, and frequently joined in expeditions 
with those in our interest, against the others. His 
many exploits and great influence among several of the 
nations, were too well known to pass unrevenged by 
the savages against whom he had exerted his abilities. 
Accordingly, in April, 1756, a body of them came down 
on his plantation, about 30 miles from Boston, and, 
skulking in the woods for some time, at last seized an 
opportunity to attack his house, in which, unhappily 
proving successful, they scalped, mangled, and cut to 
pieces the unfortunate gentleman, his wife, and nine 
servants, and then made a general conflagration of his • 
houses, barns, cattle, and every thing he possessed, 
which, with the mangled bodies, were all consumed in 
one blaze. But his more unfortunate son and daughter 
were made prisoners, and carried off by them to be 
reserved for greater tortures. Alarmed and terrified 
at this inhuman butchery, the neighbourhood, as well 


as the people of Boston, quickly assembled themselves 
to think of proper measures to be revenged on these 
execrable monsters. Among the first of those who 
offered themselves to go against the savages, was James 
Crawford, Esq., who was then at Boston, and heard of 
this tragedy. He was a young gentleman who had for 
some years paid his addresses to Miss Long, and was in 
a very little time to have been married to her. Dis- 
tracted, raving, and shocked as he was, he lost no time, 
but instantly raised loo resolute and bold young 
fellows, to go in quest of the villains. As I had been 
so long among them, and was pretty well acquainted 
with their manners and customs, and particularly their 
skulking places in the woods, I was recommended to 
him as one proper for his expedition ; he immediately 
applied to my officers, and got liberty for me. Never 
did I go on any enterprise with half that alacrity and 
cheerfulness I now went with this party. My wrongs 
and sufferings were too recent in my memory to suffer 
me to hesitate a moment in taking an opportunity of 
being revenged to the utmost of my power. 

Being quickly armed and provided, we hastened 
forward for Mr. Long's plantation on the 29th, and 
after travelling the most remote and intricate paths 
through the woods, arrived there on the 2nd of May, 
dubious of our success, and almost despairing of meeting 
with the savages, as we had heard or could discover 
nothing of them in our march. In the afternoon, some 
of our men being sent to the top of a hill to look out 
for them, soon perceived a great smoke in a part of the 
low grounds. This we immediately and rightly con- 
jectured to proceed from a fire made by them. We 
accordingly put ourselves into regular order, and 
marched forwards, resolving, let their number have 
been what it might, to give them battle. 

Arriving within a mile of the place, Captain Crawford, 


whose anxiety and pain made hini quicker sighted than 
any of the rest, soon perceived them, and guessed their 
number to be about 50. Upon this we halted, and 
secreted ourselves as well as we could, till twelve 
o'clock at night. At which time, supposing them to 
be at rest, we divided our men into two divisions, 50 
in each, and marched on ; when coming within twenty 
yards of them, the captain fired his gun, which was 
immediately followed by both divisions in succession, 
who, instantly rushing on them with bayonets fixed, 
killed every man of them. 

Great as our joy was, and flushed with success as we 
were at this sudden victory, no heart among us but was 
ready to burst at the sight of the young lady. What 
must the thoughts, torments, and senstations of our 
brave captain then be, if even we, who knew her not, 
were so sensibly affected ! For oh ! what breast, though 
of the brutal savage race we had just destroyed, could, 
without feeling the most exquisite grief and pain, 
behold in such infernal power, a lady in the bloom of 
youth, blest with every female accomplishment that 
could set off the most exquisite beauty ! Beauty which 
rendered her the envy of her own sex and the delight 
of ours, enduring the severity of a windy, rainy night ! 
Behold one nurtured in the most tender manner, and 
by the most indulgent parents, quite naked, and in the 
open woods, encircling with her alabaster arms and 
hands a cold rough tree, whereto she was bound, with 
cords so straitly pulled that the blood trickled from 
her finger ends ! Her lovely tender body, and delicate 
limbs, cut, bruised, and torn with stones and boughs 
of trees, as she had been dragged along, and all 
besmeared with blood ! What heart can even now, 
unmoved, think of her distress, in such a deplorable 
condition, having no creature, with the least sensation 
of humanity, near to succour or relieve her, or even pity 


or regard her flowing tears, and lamentable wailings ! 
The very remembrance of the sight has, at this 
instant, such an effect on me that I almost want 
words to go on. Such then was the condition in which 
we found this wretched fair, both faint and speechless 
with the shock our firing had given her tender frame. 
The captain, for a long time, could do nothing but 
gaze upon and clasp her to his bosom, crying, raving, and 
tearing his hair like one bereft of his senses ; nor did 
he for some time perceive the lifeless condition she was 
in, until one of the men had untied her lovely mangled 
arms, and she fell to the ground. Finding among the 
villains' plunder the unhappy lady's clothes, he gently 
put some of them about her ; and after various trials, 
and much time spent, recovered her dissipated spirits, 
the repossession of which she first manifested by eagerly 
fixing her eyes on her dear deliverer, and, smiling with 
the most complacent joy, blessed the Almighty and him 
for her miraculous deliverance. 

During this pleasing, painful interview, our men 
were busily employed in cutting, hacking, and scalping 
the dead Indians ; and so desirous was every man to 
have a share in wreaking his revenge on them, that 
disputes happened among ourselves, who should be the 
instruments of further shewing it on their lifeless trunks, 
there not being enough for every man to have one 
wherewith to satiate himself. The captain observing 
the animosity between us on this occasion, ordered that 
the two divisions should cast lots for this bloody, though 
agreeable piece of work, which, being accordingly done, 
the party whose lot it was to be excluded from this 
business stood by with half-pleased countenances, 
looking on the rest, who, with the utmost cheerfulness 
and activity, pursued their revenge, in scalping and 
otherwise treating their dead bodies as the most 
inveterate hatred and detestation could suggest. 


The work being done, we thought of steering home- 
wards triumphant with the scalps ; but how to get the 
lady forward, who was in such a condition as rendered 
her incapable of walking further, gave us some pain, 
and retarded us a little, until we made a sort of carriage 
to seat her on, and then, with the greatest readiness, 
we took our turns, four at a time, and carried her along. 
This, in some measure, made the captain cheerful, who 
all the way endeavoured to comfort and revive his 
desponding afflicted mistress ; but, alas ! in vain, for 
the miseries she had lately felt, and the terrible fate of 
her poor brother, of whom I doubt not but the tender- 
hearted reader is anxious to hear, rendered even her 
most pleasing thoughts, notwithstanding his soothing 
words, corroding and insufferable. 

The account she gave of their disastrous fate and 
dire catastrophe, besides what I have already mentioned, 
was, that the savages had no sooner seen all consumed, 
but they hurried off with her and her brother, pushing, 
and sometimes dragging them on, for four or five miles, 
when they stopt, and stripping her naked, treated her 
in a shocking manner, whilst others were stripping and 
cruelly whipping her unhappy brother. After which, 
they, in the same manner, pursued their journey, 
regardless of the tears, prayers, or entreaties of this 
wretched pair; but with the most infernal pleasure 
laughed and rejoiced at the calamities and distresses 
they had brought them to, and saw them suffer, until 
they arrived at the place we found them, where they 
had that day butchered her beloved brother in the 
following execrable and cruel manner: they first scalped 
him alive, aad after mocking his agonizing groans and 
torments for some hours, ripped open his belly, into 
which they put splinters and chips of pine trees, and 
set fire thereto, the same (on account of the turpentine 
wherewith these trees abound) burnt with great quick- 


ness and fury for a little time, during which, he 
remained in a manner alive, as she could sometimes 
perceive him move his head and groan. They then 
piled a great quantity of wood all around his body, and 
consumed it to ashes. 

Thus did these barbarians put an end to the being of 
this unhappy young gentleman, who was only twenty- 
two years of age when he met his calamitous fate. She 
continued her relation by acquainting us that the next 
day was to have seen her perish in the like manner, 
after suffering worse than even such a terrible death, 
the satisying these diabolical miscreants in their brutal 
lust. But it pleased the Almighty to permit us to 
rescue her, and entirely to extirpate this crew of devils ! 

Marching easily on her account, we returned to the 
captain's plantation on the 6th of May, where, as well 
as at Boston, we were joyfully received, and rewarded 
handsomely for the scalps of those savages we had 
brought with us. Mr. Crawford and Miss Long were 
soon after married, and, in gratitude for the services 
we had done them, the whole party was invited to 
the wedding, and nobly entertained ; but no riotous or 
noisy mirth was allowed, the young lady, we may well 
imagine, being still under great affliction, and in a weak 
state of health. 

Nothing further material, that I now remember 
happened during my stay at Boston. To proceed there- 
fore, with the continuation of our intended expedition. 

On the I St of July, the regiment began their march 
for Oswego. The 21st we arrived at Albany, in New 
York, through Cambridge, Northampton, and Hadfield, 
in New England. From thence, marching about 20 
miles farther, we encamped near the mouth of the 
Mohawk river, by a town called Schenectady, not far 
from the Endless Mountains. Here did we lie some 
time, until batteaux (a sort of fiat-bottomed boats, very 


small, and sharp at both ends) could be got to carry 
our stores and provisions to Oswego, each of which 
would contain about six barrels of pork, or in proportion 
thereto. Two men belonged to every batteaux, who 
made use of strong scutting poles, with iron at the ends, 
to prevent their being too soon destroyed by the stones 
in the river (one of the sources of the Ohio), which 
abounded with many, and large ones, and in some places 
was so shallow, that the men weie forced to wade and 
drag their batteaux aifter them. Which, together with 
some cataracts, or great falls of water, rendered this 
duty very hard and fatiguing, not being able to travel 
more than seven or eight English miles a-day, until they 
came to the great carrying place, at Wood's Creek, 
where the provisions and batteaux were taken out, and 
carried about four miles to Allegany, or Ohio great 
river, that runs quite to Oswego, to which place General 
Shirley got with part of the forces on the 8th of August ; 
but Colonel Mercer with the remainder did not arrive 
until the 31st. Here we found Colonel Schuyler with 
his regiment of New Jersey provincials, who had arrived 
some time before. A short description of a place which 
has afforded so much occasion for animadversion, may 
not here be altogether disagreeable to those unac- 
quainted with our settlements in that part of the world. 


Oswego is situated in N. lat 43 deg. 20 min., near the 
mouth of the river Onondago, on the south side of the 
lake Ontario, or Cataraque. There was generally a fort 
and constant garrison of regular troops kept before our 
arrival. In the proper seasons a fair for the Indian 
trade is kept here : Indians of about twenty different 
nations have been observed here at a time. The greatest 
part of the trade between Canada and the Indians of the 


Great Lakes, and some parts of the Mississippi, pass near 
this fort — the nearest and safest way of carrying goods 
upon this lake being along the south side of it. The 
distance from Albany to Oswego fort is about 300 miles 
west, to render which march more comfortable, we met 
with many good farms and settlements by the way. 
The Outawaes, a great and powerful nation, living upon 
the Outawae river, which joins the Cataraque river (the 
outlet of the great lake), deal considerably with the 
New York trading houses here. 

The different nations trading to Oswego are dis- 
tinguishable by the variety and different fashions of their 
canoes ; the very remote Indians are clothed in skins 
of various sorts, and have all fire-arms ; some come so 
far north as Port Nelson in Hudson's Bay N. lat. 57 
deg. ; and some from the Cherokees west of South 
Carolina, in N. lat. 32 deg. This seems indeed to be 
a vast extent of inland water carriage, but it is only for 
canoes and the smallest of craft 

Nor will it in this place be improper to give some 
accounts of our friends in these parts, whom we call the 
Mohawks, viz., the Iroquois, commonly called the 
Mohawks, the Oneiades, the Onendagues, the Cayu- 
gaes, and the Senekaes. In all accounts they are called 
the Six Nations of the New York Friendly Indians; the 
Tuscaroroes, stragglers from the old Turcaroroes of 
North Carolina, lately are reckoned as the sixth. I 
shall here reckon them as I have been informed they 
were formerly, (i). The Mohawks : they live upon 
the Mohawk's or Schenectady river, and head or lie 
north of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and 
some part of Virginia; having a castle or village, 
westward from Albany 40 miles, and another 65 miles 
west, and about 160 fencible men. (2). The Oneiades, 
about 80 miles from the Mohawks' second village, 
consisting of about 200 fighting men. (3). The Onon- 


dagues, about 25 miles farther (the famous Oswego, a 
trading place on the lake Ontario, is in their country), 
consisting of about 250 men. (4). The Cayugaes, about 
70 miles farther, of about 130 men; and, (5), the 
Senekaes, who reach a great way down the river 
Susquehana, consist of about 700 marching, fighting 
men, so that the fighting men of the five or six nations 
of Mohawks may be reckoned at 1500 men, and extend 
from Albany, west, 400 miles, lying in about 30 tribes 
or governments. Besides these, there is settled above 
Montreal, which lies N. E. of Oswego, a tribe of scoun- 
drels, runaways from the Mohawks — they are called 
Kahnuages, consisting of about 80 men. This short 
account of these nations I think necessary to make the 
English reader acquainted with, as I may have occasion 
to mention things concerning some of them. 

It may not be improper here also, to give a succinct 
detail of the education, manners, religion, &c., of the 
natives. The Indians are born tolerably white ; but 
they take a great deal of pains to darken their complexion 
by anointing themselves with grease, and lying in the 
sun. Their features are good, especially those of the 
women. Their limbs clean, straight, and well propor- 
tioned, and a crooked and deformed person is a great 
rarity amongst them. They are very ingenious in 
their way, being neither so ignorant nor so innocent 
as some people imagine. On the contrary, a very 
understanding generation are they, quick of apprehen- 
sion, sudden in despatch, subtle in their dealings, 
exquisite in their inventions, and in labour assiduous. 
The world has no better marksmen with guns, or bows 
and arrows, than the natives, who can kill birds flying, 
fishes swimming, and wild beasts running ; nay, with 
such prodigious force do they discharge their arrows, 
that one of them will shoot a man quite through, and 
nail both his arms to his body with the same arrow. 


As to their religion, in order to reconcile the different 
accounts exhibited by travellers, we must suppose that 
different tribes may have different notions and different 
rites, and though I do not think myself capable of 
determining the case with the precision and accuracy 
I could wish, yet, with what I have collected from my 
own observation when among them, and the information 
of my brother captives, who have been longer conver- 
sant with the Indians than I was, I shall readily give 
the public all the satisfaction I can. 

Some assure us the Indians worship the images of 
some inferior deities, whose anger they seem to dread, 
on which account the generality of our travellers 
denominate the objects of their devotion devils, though 
at the same time, it is allowed, they pray to their 
inferior deities for success in all their undertakings, 
for plenty of food, and other necessaries of life It 
appears too, that they acknowledge one Supreme Being; 
but him they adore not, because they believe he is too 
far exalted above them, and too happy in himself, to be 
concerned about the trifling affairs of poor mortals. 
They seem also to believe in a future state, and that 
after death, they will be removed to their friends who 
have gone before them, to an Elysium or Paradise 
beyond the Western Mountains. Others again, allow 
them either no religion at all, or at most, very faint 
ideas of a deity ; but all agree that they are extrava- 
gantly superstitious, and exceedingly afraid of evil spirits. 
To these demons they make oblations every new moon, 
for the space of seven days, during which time they 
cast lots, and sacrifice one of themselves, putting the 
person devoted to the most exquisite misery they can 
invent, in order to satisfy the devil for that moon, for 
they think, if they please but the evil spirit, God will 
do them no hurt. 

Certain, however, it is, that those Indians whom the 


French priests have had an opportunity of ministering 
unto, are induced to believe "That the Son of God 
came into the world to save all mankind, and destroy 
all evil spirits that now trouble them ; that the English 
have killed him ; and that ever since, the evil spirits 
are permitted to walk on the earth, that if the English 
were all destroyed, the Son of the Good Man, who is 
God, would come again, and banish all evil spirits from 
their lands, and then they would have nothing to fear 
or disturb them." Cajoled by these false but artful 
insinuations of the French Jesuits, the Indians from 
that time have endeavoured to massacre all the English, 
in order that the Son of God might come again on the 
earth, and rid them from their slavish fears and terrible 
apprehensions, by exterminating the objects thereof 

Being now at Oswego, the principal object that gave 
at that time any concern to the Americans, I shall, 
before I continue my own account, give a short recital 
of what had been done in these parts, in regard to the 
defence and preservation of the fort and the colonies 
thereabouts, before I came upon such authorities as I 
got from those who had been long at Oswego, and I 
can well depend upon for truth. 

General Shirley, in 1754, having erected two new 
forts on the river Onondago, it seemed probable that 
he intended to winter at Oswego with his whole army, 
that he might the more readily proceed to action the 
ensuing spring. What produced his inactivity after- 
wards, and how it was that Fort Oswego was not taken 
by the French in the spring of 1755, ^^e things my 
penetration will not enable me to discuss. But Oswego 
is now lost, and would have been so in the spring of 
1755, if more important affairs had not made the French 
neglect it. At this time the garrison of Oswego con- 
sisted only of 100 men, under Captain King. The old 
fort being their only protection, which mounted only 


eight four-pounders, was incapable of defence, because 
it was commanded by an eminence directly across a 
narrow river, the banks of which were covered with 
thick wood 

In May, 1755, Oswego being in this condition, and 
thus garrisoned, thirty French batteaux were seen to 
pass, and two days after eleven more ; each batteau 
(being much larger than ours) containing fifteen men ; 
so this fleet consisted of near 600 men, a force which, 
with a single mortar, might soon have taken possession 
of the place. 

A resolution was now taken to make the fort larger, 
and erect some new ones ; to build vessels upon the 
lake ; to increase the garrison; and provide every thing 
necessary to annoy the enemy, so as they may render 
the place tenable. Captain Broad street arriving on the • 
27th of May at the fort, with two companies, some small 
swivel guns, and the first parcel of workmen, made some 
imagine that a stop would be put to the French in their 
carrying men in the sight of the garrison — yet they still 
permitted eleven more French batteaux to pass by, 
though we were then superior to them in these boats, 
or at least in number. The reason our forces could not 
attack them was, because they were four miles in the 
offing, on board large vessels, in which the soldiers 
could stand to fire without being overset; and our 
batteaux, in which we must have attacked them, were 
so small, that they would contain only six men each, 
and so critical, that the inadvertent motion of one man 
would overset them. No care, however, was taken to 
provide larger boats against another emergency of the 
same kind. At Oswego, indeed, it was impracticable 
for want of iron work ; such being the provident fore- 
cast of those who had the management of affairs, that 
though there were smiths enough, yet there was at this 
place but one pair of bellows, so that the first accident 


that should happen to that necessary instrument would 
stop all the operations of the forge at once. 

The beginning of June, the ship-carpenters arrived 
from Boston, and on the 28th of the same month the 
first vessel we ever had on the Lake Ontario was 
launched and fitted out She was a schooner, forty feet 
in the keel, had fourteen oars, and twelve swivel guns. 
This vessel, and 320 men, was all the force we had at 
Oswego the beginning of July, and was victualled at 
the expense of the province of New York. Happy 
indeed it was that the colony provisions were there, for 
so little care had been taken to get the king's provisions 
sent up, that, when we arrived, we must have perished 
with famine, had not we found a supply which we had 
little reason to expect. 

About the middle of July, an attack was again 
expected, when we (the forces under General Shirley) 
were still near 300 miles distant. And if the attack 
had been made with the force the enemy was known to 
have had at hand, it must, for the reason I have just 
before given, have fallen into their possession. 

Such was the state of Oswego when we arrived there. 
Where we had been but a short time before, provisions 
began to be very scarce, and the king's allowance being 
still delayed, the provincial stores were soon exhausted, 
and we were in danger of being soon famished, being 
on less than half allowance. The men being likewise 
worn out and fatigued with the long march they had 
suffered, and being without rum (or allowed none at 
least), and other proper nutriment, many fell sick of the 
flux, and died, so that our regiment was greatly reduced 
in six weeks' time. A party that we left at the impor- 
tant carrying place, at Wood's Creek, were absolutely 
obliged to desert it for want of necessaries. 

Sickness, death, and desertion had at length so far 
reduced us, that we had scarce men enough to perform 


duty, and protect those that were daily at work. The 
Indians keeping a strict look-out, rendered every one 
who passed the out-guards or sentinels, in danger of 
being scalped or murdered. To prevent consequences 
like these, a captain's guard of sixteen men, with two 
lieutenants, two Serjeants, two corporals, and one drum, 
besides two flank guards of a serjeant, corporal, and 
twelve men in each, were daily mounted, and did duty 
as well as they were able. Scouting parties were like- 
wise sent out every day ; but the sickness still con- 
tinuing, and having 300 men at work, we were obliged 
to lessen our guards, till General PepperelPs regiment 
joined us. 

A little diligence being now made use of, about the 
middle of September four other vessels were got ready, 
viz., a decked sloop of eight guns, four-pounders, and 
thirty swivels ; a decked schooner, eight guns, four- 
pounders, and twenty-eight swivels; one undecked 
schooner of fourteen swivels, and fourteen oars ; and 
another of twelve swivels and fourteen oars — about 
150 tons each. 

On the 24th of October, with this armament, and a 
considerable number of batteaux, which were too small 
to live upon the lake in moderate weather, we were 
preparing to attack Niagara ; though (notwithstanding 
we had taken all the provisions we could find in Oswego, 
and had left the garrison behind with scarce enough 
for three days) the fleet had not provisions sufficient 
on board to carry them within sight of the enemy, and 
supplies were not to be got within 300 miles of the 
place we were going against. However, the impractica- 
bility of succeeding in an expedition undertaken without 
victuals, was discovered in time enough to prevent our 
march or embarkation, or whatever it might be called ; 
but not before nine batteaux, laden with officers' 
baggage were sent forward, four men in each batteau, 


in one of which it was my lot to be. The men being 
weak, and in low spirits with continual harassing and 
low feeding, rendered our progress very tedious and 
difficult — add to this the places we had to ascend, for 
in many parts the cataracts or falls of water which 
descended near the head of the river Onondago (in some 
places near loo feet perpendicular), rendered it almost 
impossible for us to proceed — for the current running 
from the bottom was so rapid, that the efforts of twenty 
or thirty men were sometimes required to drag the 
boats along, and especially to get them up the hills or 
cataracts, which we were forced to do with ropes. 
Sometimes, when with great labour and difficulty we 
had got them up, we carried them by land near a 
quarter of a mile before we came to any water. In 
short, we found four men to a batteau were insufficient, 
for the men belonging to one batteau were so fatigued 
and worn out that they could not manage her, so that 
she lay behind almost a league. 

The captain that was with us observing this, as soon 
as we had got the others over the most difficult falls, 
ordered two besides myself to go and help her forward. 
Accordingly I got into her, in order to steer her, whilst 
my two comrades and her own crew dragged her along. 
When we got her into any cataracts, I remained in 
her to fasten the ropes and keep all safe whilst they 
hauled her up ; but drawing her to the summit of the 
last cataract the ropes gave way, and down she fell into 
a very rapid and boisterous stream, where, not being 
able by myself to work her, she stove to pieces on a small 
rock, on which some part of her remaining till morning, 
I miraculously saved myself. Never was my life in 
greater danger than in this situation, the night being 
quite dark, and no assistance to be obtained from any of 
my comrades, though, many of them, as I afterwards 
learned, made diligent search for me ; but the fall of 


the water rendered the noise that they, as well as 
myself made, to be heard by one another, quite 

In the morning, they, indeed, found me, but in a 
wretched condition, quite benumbed, and almost dead 
with cold, having nothing on but my shirt. 

After various efforts, having with great difficulty got 
me up, they used all proper means to recover my worn 
out spirits ; but the fire had a fatal effect to what they 
intended, for my flesh swelled all over my body and 
limbs, and caused such a deprivation of my senses, that 
I fainted, and was thought by all to be dead. However, 
after some time, they pretty well recovered my scattered 
senses, and fatigued body, and with proper care con- 
ducted me, with some others (who were weak and ill 
of the flux), to Albany, where the hospital received our 
poor debilitated bodies. 

The rest, not able to proceed, or being counter- 
manded, bent their course back again to Oswego, where, 
a friendly storm preventing an embarkation, when a 
stock of provisions was got together (sufficient to 
prevent them from eating one another, during the first 
twelve days), all thoughts of attacking Niagara were 
laid aside. 

Thus ended this formidable campaign. The vessels 
that we had built (as I afterwards learned) were 
unrigged and laid up, without having been put to any 
use, while a French vessel was cruising on the lake, 
and carrying supplies to Niagara without interruption — 
five others, as large as ours, being almost ready to 
launch at Frontenac, which lies across Lake Ontario, 
north of Oswego. 

The General, whatever appearances might have led 
others, as well as myself, to think otherwise, soon indi- 
cated his intention of not wintering at Oswego, for 
he left the place before the additional works were 


completed, and the garrison, by insensible degrees, 
decreased. The iioo men still living in perpetual 
terror, on the brink of famine, and become mutinous 
for want of their pay, which, in the hurry of milUary 
business^ during a year that was crowned with great 
events, had been forgotten, for, from my first enlisting, 
to the time I was laid up at Albany, I never had 
received above six weeks pay. 

A little, indeed, may be offered in vindication of the 
General, in regard to the numberless delays of this 
campaign, viz., that it took some time to raise the two 
regiments which were in British pay, as the name of 
enlisting for life is somewhat forbidding to the Americans 
(a few of whom, as well as myself, made our agreement 
for three years ; but soon after that time, I doubt we 
must have depended on his pleasure for our being 
discharged, according to our contract, had it not fallen 
out otherwise). The unusual dryness of the summer 
rendered the rivers down to Oswego in some places 
impassable, or very difficult for the batteaux to proceed; 
and it was whispered that a gentleman lately in an 
eminent station in New York, did all in his power to 
hinder the undertaking, from a pique at the General 
By these disadvantages, he was detained at Albany till 
August, and even when he did reach Oswego, he 
found himself put to no little difficulty to maintain his 
ground for want of provisions, and the men being so 
reduced, more than once, to short allowance, as you 
have seen, became troubled with the flux, and had not 
anything necessary, not even rum sufficient for the 
common men, to prevent the fatal effects of that 

In this manner the summer was spent on our side, 
and the reason why the French did not this year take 
Oswego, when they might with so little trouble, was, as 
many beside myself conjectured, that they thought it 


more their interest to pursue their projects on the Ohio, 
and preserve the friendship of the confidential Indians, 
which an attack upon Oswego at that time would have 

How far they succeeded in such their projects, and 
the reason of their successes, a little animadversion on 
our own transactions will let us into the light of it 
For, as appearances on our side were very favourable in 
the spring. General Braddock's defeat greatly increased 
the gloom which sat on the countenances of the 

Great things being expected from him, he arrived early 
in the spring at Virginia, with a considerable land force, 
and Fort Du Quesne seemed to be ours, if we did but go 
and demand it. The attacks designed against Niagara 
and Fort Frederick, at Crown Point, were planned in 
the winter, and the troops employed against the 
French in Nova Scotia, embarked at Boston in April. 
Let us view the events besides those already mentioned. 
General Braddock was ready to march in April ; but, 
through ignorance or neglect, or a misunderstanding with 
the governor of Virginia, had neither fresh provisions, 
horses, nor waggons provided, and so late as the latter 
end of May, it was necessary to apply to Pennsylvania 
for the most part of these. This neglect created a most 
pernicious diffidence and discredit of the Americans, 
in the mind of the General, and prevented their useful- 
ness, where their advice was wanted, and produced very 
bad effects. He was a man (as it is now too well known 
and believed) by no means quick of apprehension, and 
could not conceive that such a people could instruct 
him ; and his young counsellors prejudiced him still 
more, so as to slight his officers, and what was worse, 
his enemy, as it was treated as an absurdity to suppose 
the Indians would ever attack regulars, and, of course, 
no care was taken to instruct the men to resist their 


peculiar manner of fighting. Had this circumstance 
been attended to, I am fully persuaded 400 Indians, 
about the number that defeated him, would have given 
him very little annoyance; sure I am, 400 of our people, 
rightly managed, would have made no difficulty of 
driving before them four times that handful, to whom 
he owed his defeat and death. 

The undertaking of the eastern provinces, to reduce 
the fort at Crown Point, met that fate which the jarring 
councils of a divided people commonly meet with, for, 
though the plan was concerted in the winter of 1754, 
it was August before these petty governments could 
bring together their troops. In short, it must be owned 
by all, that delays were the banes of our undertakings, 
except in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where 
secrecy and expedition were rewarded with success, 
and that province reduced. 

The General continued inactive, from the time he left 
Oswego, to March, 1756, when he was about to resume 
the execution of his scheme to attack Frontenac and 
Niagara. What would have been the issue of this pro- 
ject, neither myself nor any other person can now 
pretend to say, for, just at this crisis, he received orders 
from England to attempt nothing till Lord Loudon 
should arrive, which was said should be early in the 
spring. However, his Lordship did not get there until 
the middle of July, so that by this delay time was given 
to the Marquis de Montcalm (Major-General Dieskan's 
successor) to arrive from France at Canada with 3000 
regular forces, and take the field before us. 

But to return from this digression to other transac- 
tions. When I was pretty well recovered again, I 
embarked on board a vessel from Albany for New York, 
where, when I arrived, I found to my sorrow. Captain 
John Shirley, the General's son, had been dead for some 
time. He was a very promising worthy young gentle- 


man, and universally regretted His company was 
given to Major James Kinnair, who ordered that none 
of his men should go out on the recruiting parties, as 
was at first intended by his predecessor ; but that the 
private men should either return to Oswego, or do duty 
in the fort at New York. Not liking my station here, 
I entreated the General, who was now arrived, for a 
furlough, to see my friends at Pennsylvania, which he, 
having then no great occasion for me at New York, 
granted for three months. 

As I have here mentioned New York, and before 
given a short account of the cities of Philadelphia and 
Boston, it would be a disrespect shown to this elegant 
one not to take notice of it, as well as, in some 
measure, debarring the reader from such information 
as may not be disagreeable; but not being of that 
note or consequence with the others, I shall briefly 
observe that 


Is a very fine city, and the capital of the province of 
that name. It contains about 3000 houses, and near 
9000 inhabitants. The houses are all well built, and 
the meanest of them said to be worth ;£^ioo sterling, 
which cannot be said of the city of the same name, nor 
of any other in England. Their conversation is polite, 
and their furniture, dress, and manner of living, quite 
elegant. In drinking and gallantry they exceed any 
city in America. 

The great church is a very handsome edifice, and 
built in 1695. Here is also a Dutch church, a French 
church, and a Lutheran church. The inhabitants of 
Dutch extraction make a considerable part of the town, 
and most of them speak English. 

Having obtained my furlough, I immediately set out 


for Pennsylvania, and arriving at Philadelphia, found the 
consternation and terror of the inhabitants was greatly 
increased to what it was when I left them. They had 
made several treaties of friendship with the Indians, 
who, when well supplied with arms, ammunition, clothes, 
and other necessaries, through the pacific measures and 
defenceless state of the Philadelphians, soon revolted 
to the French, and committed great ravages on the 
back parts of the province, destroying and massacring 
men, women, and children, and every thing that 
unhappily lay in their way. 

A few instances of which, together with the behaviour 
of the Philadelphians on these occasions, I shall here 
present the reader with, who, of whatever sect or 
profession, I am well assured, must condemn the pacific 
disposition, and private factions that then reigned, not 
only in the army, but among the magistrates themselves, 
who were a long time before they could agree on proper 
petitions, to rouse the assembly from the lethargic and 
inactive condition they absolutely remained in. For, 
about the middle of October, a large body of Indians, 
chiefly Shawonoese, Delawares, &c, fell upon this 
province from several quarters, almost at the same 
instant, murdering, burning, and laying waste all where- 
ever they came — so that in the five counties of 
Cumberland, York, Lancaster, Berks, and Northamp- 
ton, which compose more than half the province, 
nothing but scenes of destruction and desolation were 
to be seen. 

The damages which these counties had sustained by 
the desertion of plantations, is not to be reckoned up, 
nor are the miseries of the poor inhabitants to be 
described, many of whom, though escaping with life, 
were, without a moment's warning, driven from these 
habitations, where they enjoyed every necessary of life, 
and were then exposed to all the severity of a hard 


winter, and obliged to solicit their very bread at the 
cold hand of charity, or perish with hunger, under the 
inclement air. 

To these barbarities I have already mentioned, I 
cannot pass over the following, as introductory causes 
of the Philadelphians at last withstanding the outrages 
of the barbarians. 

At Guadenhutten, a small Moravian settlement in 
Northampton county, the poor unhappy sufferers were 
sitting round their peaceful supper, when the inhuman 
murderers, muffled in the shades of the night, dark 
and horrid as the infernal purposes of their diabolical 
souls, stole upon them, butchered, scalped them, 
and consumed their bodies, together with their 
horses, stock, and upwards of sixty head of fat cattle 
(intended for the subsistence of the brethren at 
Bethlehem), all in one general flame, so that next 
morning furnished only a melancholy spectacle of 
their mingled ashes. 

At the Great Cove in Cumberland, at Tulpehockin, 
in Berks, and in several other places, their barbarities 
were stilll greater if possible. Men, women, children, 
and brute beasts shared one common destruction ; and 
where they were not burned to ashes, their mangled 
limbs were found promiscuously thrown upon the 
ground — those appertaining to the human form scarce 
to be distinguished from the brute ! 

But of all the instances of the barbarities I heard of 
in these parts, I could not help being most affected 
with the following : — One family, consisting of the hus- 
band, his wife, and a child only a few hours old, were 
all found murdered and scalped in this manner : the 
mother, stretched on the bed, with her new-born child 
liorribly mangled and put under her head for a pillow, 
while the husband lay on the ground hard by, with his 
belly ript up, and his bowels laid cpen. 


In another place, a woman, with her sucking child, 
finding that she had fallen into the hands of the enemy, 
fell flat on her face, prompted by the strong call of 
nature to cover and shelter her innocent child with her 
own body. The accursed savage rushed from his 
lurking place, struck her on the head with his tomahawk, 
tore off her scalp, and scoured back into the woods, 
without observing the child, being apprehensive that 
he was discovered. The child was found some time 
afterwards under the body of its mother, and was 
then alive. 

Many of their young women were carried by the 
savages into captivity, reserved perhaps for a worse fate 
than those who suffered death in all its horrid shapes, 
and no wonder, since they were reserved by savages 
whose tender mercies might be counted more cruel 
than their very cruelty itself. 

Yet even during all this time, this province (had 
things been properly ordered) need but, in comparison 
to her strength, have lifted her foot and crushed all 
the French force on the borders ; but unused to such 
undertakings, and bound by non-resisting principles 
from exerting her strength, and involved in disputes 
with the proprietors, they stood still, vainly hoping the 
French would be so moderate as to be content with 
their victory over Braddock, or at least confine their 
attacks to Virginia ; but they then saw and felt all this 
was delusion, and the barbarities of the Indian parties, 
headed by French officers, notwithstanding all which, 
they continued in domestic debates, without a soldier 
in pay, or a penny in the treasury. In short, if the 
enemy had then had but 1500 men at the Ohio, and 
would have attempted it, no rashness could have 
been perceived in their marching down to the city of 

Thus stood our affairs on the Ohio, when an old 


captain of the warriors, in the interest of the Phila- 
delphians, and their ever faithful friend, whose name 
was Scarooyada, alias Manokatoathy, on the first 
notice of these misfortunes, came hastening to Phila- 
delphia, together with Colonel Weiser, the provincial 
interpreter, and two other Indian chiefs. Scarooyada 
immediately demanded an audience of the assembly, 
who were then sitting, to whom he spoke in a very 
affecting manner. His speeches being printed, and 
sold about Philadelphia, I procured one of them, which 
was as follows — 

" Brethren, 

"We are once more come among you, and sincerelv condole with 
you on account of the late bloodshed, and the awful cloud that hangs over 
you and over us. Brethren, you may be undoubtedly assured, that these 
horrid actions were committed by none of those nations that have any fellow- 
ship with us, but by certain false-hearted and treacherous brethren. It grieves 
us more than all our other misfortunes, that any of our good friends the 
Enjflish should suspect us of having false hearts. 

" If you were not an infatuated people, we are 300 warriors firm to your 
interest, and if you are so unjust to us as to retain any doubts of our sincerity, 
we offer to put our wives, our children,^ and all we have into your hands, to 
deal with them as seemeth good to you, if we are found in the least to swerve 
from you. But, brethren, you must supi>ort and assist us, for we are not 
able to fight alone against the powerful nations who are coming against you, 
and you must this moment resolve, and give us an explicit answer what you 
will do, for these nations have sent to desire us, as old friends, either to join 
them, or get out of their way, and shift for ourselves. Alas ! brethren, we 
are sorry to leave you ! We remember the many tokens of your friendship 
to us ; but what shall we do? We cannot stand alone, and you will not stand 
with us ! _ _ 

•* The time is precious. While we are here consulting with you, we know 
not what may be the fate of our brethren at home. We do, therefore, once 
more invite and request you to act like men, and be no longer as women, 
pursuing weak measures that render your names despicable. If you will put 
the hatchet into your hands, and send out a number of your young men, in 
conjunction with our warriors, and provide the necessary arms, ammunition, 
and provisions, and likewise build some strong houses for the protection 01 
our old men, women, and children, while we are absent in war, we shall soon 
wii;)e the tears from your eyes, and make these false-hearted brethren repent 
their treachery and baseness towards you and towards us. 

" But we must at the same time solemnly assure you, that if you delav 
any longer to act in conjunction with us, or think to put us oflF, as usual, with 
uncertam hopes, you must not expect to see our faces under this roof any 
more. We must shift for our own safety, and leave you to the mercy of omr ene- 
mies, as an infatuated people, upon whom we can have no longer dependence." 

The tears stood in the old man's eyes, while he 
delivered this last part, and no wonder, since the very 


being of his nation depended upon their joining the 
enemy, or our enabling them immediately to make 
head against them. 

It was some time, however, before the assembly 
could be brought to consent to any vigorous measures 
for their own defence. The black inhabitants lost all 
patience at their conduct, until, at length, the Governor 
exerted his utmost power, and procured the militia and 
money bills to pass. By virtue of the former, the free- 
men of the province were enabled to form themselves 
into companies, and each company, by a majority of 
votes, by way of ballot, to choose its own officers, viz., 
a captain, lieutenant, and ensign, who, if approved of, 
were to be commissioned by the Governor. So that 
the Philadelphians were, at last, permitted to raise and 
arm themselves in their own defence. They accordingly 
formed themselves into companies, the Governor sign- 
ing to all gentlemen qualified, who had been regularly 
balloted, commissions for that purpose. 

Captain Davis was one of the first who had a com- 
pany, and being desirous of my service, in order to 
instruct the irregulars in their discipline, obtained from 
the Governor a certificate to indemnify me from any 
punishment which might be adjudged by the regiment 
to which I already belonged, for without that I had 
not gone. Our company, which consisted of loo men, 
was not completed until the 24th of December, 1755, 
when, losing no time, we next morning marched from 
Philadelphia in high spirits, resolving to shew as little 
quarter to the savages as they had to many of us. 

Colonel Armstrong had been more expeditious, for 
he had raised 280 provincial irregulars, and marched a 
little time before against the Ohio Moravians; but of 
him more hereafter. 

We arrived on the 26th of December at Bethlehem, 
in the forks of the river Delaware, where, being kindly 


received by the Moravians, we loaded six waggons with 
provisions, and proceeded on to the Apalachian Moun- 
tains, or Blue Hills, to a town called Kennorton-head, 
which the Moravians had deserted on account of the 
Indians. Fifty of our men, of whom I made one, were 
ordered before the rest, to see whether the town was 
destroyed or not. Disposing them to the best advan- 
tage, we marched on till we came within five miles of 
the place, which we found standing entire. 

Having a very uneven rugged road to it, and not 
above four men able to go abreast, we were on a sudden 
alarmed by the firing of the flank guards, which were 
a little in the rear of our van. The savages briskly 
returned fire, and killed the ensign and ten of the men, 
and wounded several others. 

Finding this, I being chief in command (having acted 
as lieutenant, and received pay as such from my first 
entrance, for my trouble and duty in learning the com- 
pany), ordered the men to march on with all expedition 
to the town, and all the way to keep a running fire on 
the enemy, as they had fallen on our rear. 

We would have got there in very good order, had it 
not been for a river we had to cross, and the weather 
being so excessively cold, our clothes froze to our bodies 
as soon as we got out of the water. However, with 
great difficulty we reached the town, and got into the 
church, with the loss of 27 mea There we made 
as good preparations for our defence as possibly we 
could, making a great fire of the benches, seats, and 
what we could find therein, to dry our clothes, not 
esteeming it the least sacrilege or crime upon such an 

The Indians soon followed us into the town, and 
surrounding us, tried all methods to burn the church, 
but our continual firing kept them off for about six hours, 
until our powder and ball were all expended. In the 


night they set several houses on fire, and we, dreading 
the consequences of being detained there, resolved to 
make one bold efTort, and push ourselves through the 
savage forces, which was accordingly done with the 
most undaunted courage. The enemy fired continually 
on us during our retreat, and killed many of our men, 
but in their confusion many of themselves also, it being 
so very dark that we were not able to discern our own 
party, so that only five of us kept together, and got 
into the woods. The rest, whom we left behind, I 
doubt, fell sacrifices to the savages. 

The night being so excessively cold, and having but 
few clothes with us out of the church, two of my com- 
rades froze to death before we could reach any inhabited 
place. In short, we did not get any relief till four 
o'clock in the morning, when we arrived at a house 
that lay in the gap of the Blue Hills, where our captain 
had arrived with the remainder of the men and waggons 
the day before. 

The captain enquiring our success, I gave him the 
melancholy detail of our unfortunate expedition, upon 
which, an express was immediately sent to the Gover- 
nor with the account, who ordered t6oo men to march 
the next morning for the same place, under the com- 
mand of General Franklin, not only to bury the dead 
and build a fort there, but to extirpate the savages who 
infested these parts, and were too powerful for our 
small number under Captain Davis. 

The remainder of our little party were now building 
a fort at the place where we lay for our defence, until 
more assistance should arrive — for we were under con- 
tinual apprehensions of the Indians pursuing and 
attacking us again. 

On the 9th of January, 1756, we were reinforced by 
General Franklin and his body, and the next day set 
out again for Kennorton-head, where, when we arrived, 


to our great consternation, we found little occasion to 
bury our unhappy comrades, the swine (which in that 
country are vastly numerous in the woods), having 
devoured their bodies, and nothing but bones strewed 
up and down were to be seen. We there built a fort 
in the place where the old church had stood, and gave 
it the name of Fort Allen. This was finished in six 
days, and in so good a manner, that loo men would 
make great resistance against a much greater number 
of Indians. 

On the 1 8th, 1400 of us were ordered about fifteen 
miles distant from thence, on the frontiers of the 
province, where we built another fort, called Fort 
Norris. In our way thither we found six men scalped 
and murdered in a most cruel manner. By what we 
could discern, they had made a vigorous defence, the 
barrels and stocks of their guns being broke to pieces, 
and themselves cut and mangled in a terrible manner. 

From thence we were ordered to march towards a 
place called the Minnisinks, but this journey proved 
longer than we were aware of, the Indians committing 
great outrages in these parts, having burned and 
destroyed all the houses, &c, in our way. These tragic 
actions caused us to divide ourselves into several 
parties, who were ordered divers ways, to cut off as 
many of these savages as possible. 

The day after this scheme was put into execution^, 
we met with a small party which we put to the rout, 
killing fourteen of them. We then made all possible 
despatch to save some houses we saw on fire ; but on 
our nearer approach, found our endeavour in vain — 
John Swisher and his family having been before scalped 
and burnt to ashes in their own house. On the 
following night, the house of James Wallis underwent 
the same fate, himself, wife, seven children, and the 
rest of the family being scalped, and burnt therein. 


The houses and families of Philip Green and Abraham 
Nairne suffered in the like manner. Nor did the 
cruelty of these barbarians stop here, but attacked the 
dwelling-house of George Hunter, Esq., a gentleman 
of considerable wealth, and a justice of the peace, who 
made a brave resistance, and rather than fall into the 
hands of these miscreants, choose to meet death in 
the flames, which he, his wife, and all his household, 
consisting of sixteen in number, did with the utmost 
bravery, before any assistance could be received 
from our General, who had despatched 500 of us for 
that purpose, on an express being sent to him that 

From thence we marched to the Minnisinks, and 
built Fort Norris. On the .9th of March, we set out 
with 1000 men to the head of the Minnisinks, and 
built another fort, which we named Franklin, in honour 
of our General — all which forts were garrisoned with 
as many men as we could possibly spare. 

After this we were daily employed in scouring the 
woods, from fort to fort, of these noxious creatures the 
Indians, and in getting as much of the corn together 
as we could find, to prevent the savages from having 
any benefit therefrom. 

Notwithstanding our vigilance, these villains, on the 
15th, attacked the house of James Graham, but by 
Providence, he, with his wife, who had just lain in, 
and the young infant in her arms (with nothing about 
her but her shift), made their escape to Fort Allen, 
about fifteen miles distant. The child perished by 
the way, and it was matter of wonder to the whole 
garrison to find either of them alive — indeed, they 
were in a deplorable condition, and we imagined they 
would expire every moment. The wife, however, to 
our great astonishment, recovered, but the husband 
did not survive above six hours after their arrival. 


The house of Isaac Cook suffered by the flames — 
himself, his wife, and eight children being scalped and 
burnt in it 

Tedious and shocking would it be to enumerate 
half the murders, conflagrations, and outrages com- 
mitted by these hellish infidels — let it suffice, therefore, 
that from the year 1753, when they first began their 
barbarities, they had murdered, burned, scalped, and 
destroyed above 3500, above 1000 of which were 
unhappy inhabitants of the western part of Phila- 
delphia Men, women, and children, fell alike a prey 
to the savages, no regard being had by them to the 
tender entreaties of an affectionate parent for a beloved 
child, or the infant's prayers in behalf of his ^ed 
father and mother. Such are the miserable calamities 
attendant on schemes for gratifying the ambition of a 
tyrannic monarchy like France, or the weak contri- 
vances or indolent measures of blundering ministers 
or negotiators. 

The time of my furlough at length expiring, I 
prepared to set out for my regiment. Having a 
recommendatory letter from General Franklin to Major 
Kinnair, as to my services, I marched forward for New 
York, where, having arrived, I waited on the Major — 
he being a worthy gentleman, universally beloved by 
the whole regiment — and after giving him an account 
of all our transactions, and the hardships and labours 
we had gone through, I was dismissed. 

After some stay there, I was ordered to proceed on 
my march for Oswego once more. But before I go 
further with my affairs, I shall just recount the result 
of those provincials who went, as I mentioned before, 
to quell the savages, under the command of Colonel 

He having under his command 280 provincials, 
destined against the Ohio Moravians, against whom 


nothing had been attempted, notwithstanding their 
frequent incursions and murders, penetrated 140 miles 
through the woods, from Fort Shirley, on Juniata river, 
to Kittanning, an Indian town on the Ohio, about 25 
miles above Fort du Quesne, belonging to the French. 
He soon joined the advanced party at the Beaver- Dams, 
and on the fourth evening after, being within six miles 
of Kittanning, the scouts discovered a fire in the road, 
and reported that there were but three or four Indians 
at it. At that time it was not thought proper to 
attempt surprising these Indians, lest if one should 
escape, the town might be alarmed Lieutenant Hogg, 
with twelve men, were therefore left to watch them, 
with orders not to fall upon them until day-break; 
and our forces turned out of the path, to pass their fire, 
without disturbing them. 

About three in the morning, having been guided by 
the whooping of the Indian warriors, at a dance in the 
town, they reached the river at about 100 perches below 
it As soon as day appeared, the attack began. Cap- 
tain Jacobs, chief of the Indians, gave the war-whoop, 
and defended his house bravely through the loopholes 
in the logs. The Indians generally refusing quarter. 
Colonel Armstrong ordered their houses to be set on 
fire, which was done by the officers and soldiers with 
great alacrity. On this, some burst out of the houses, 
and attempted to reach the river, but were instantly 
shot Captain Jacobs, in getting out of a window, was 
shot and scalped, as were also his squaw, and a lad 
they. called the king's son. The Indians had a number 
of spare arms in their houses loaded, which went off 
in quick succession as the fire came to them ; and 
quantities of gunpowder, which had been stored in 
every house, blew up from time to time, throwing their 
bodies into the air. 

Eleven English prisoners were released, who informed 


the Colonel that that very day two batteaux of French- 
men, with a large party of Delaware and French 
Indians, were to have joined Captain Jacobs, to march 
and take Fort Shirley ; and that twenty-four warriors 
had set out before them the preceding evening, which 
proved to be the party that had kindled the fire the 
preceding night — for our people returning, found Lieu- 
tenant Hogg wounded in three places, and learned that 
he had attacked the supposed party of three or four at 
the fire, but found them too strong for him. He killed 
three of them, however, at the first fire, and fought 
them an hour, when, having lost three of his men, the 
rest, as he lay wounded, abandoned him and fled, the 
enemy pursuing. Lieutenant Hogg died soon after of 
his wounds. 

Enough of these two expeditions has been said, nor 
can I well tell which of the two was most successful, 
both losing more of their own men than they killed of 
the enemy. 

A little retrospection again on the actions and be- 
haviour of the Philadelphians, and the other provinces, 
and places in conjunction with them, may here be 
something necessary, for, when I arrived at Philadel- 
phia, I found, however melancholy their situation had 
been of late, this good effect had been obtained, that 
the most prejudiced and ignorant individual was 
feelingly convinced of the necessity of vigorous 
measures ; and, besides national and public views^ then 
the more prevailing ones of revenge and self-interest, 
gave a spur to their counsels. They were accordingly 
raising men with the utmost expedition, and had, before 
the end of the summer, a considerable number, though 
not equal to what they could furnish, having at least 
45,000 men in Pennsylvania able to fight 

And, pursuant to agreement some months before, 
the four governments of New England, in conjunction 


with New York (which last furnished 1300), had now 
assembled 8000 men (for the attack of Fort Frederick) 
at Albany, 150 miles N. of N^w York, and about 130 
from Crown Point, under the command of General 
Winslow. But many people dreading the cruelty of 
the French, were not so very eager to join them this 
year as J;he last — an impress therefore of part of the 
militia was ordered in New York government. To 
prevent which, subscriptions were set on foot to engage 
volunteers by high bounties, so loath were they, that 
some got nine or twelve pounds sterling to enlist. 

The 44th, 48th, 50th, and 51st regiments of Great 
Britain were destined for the campaign on the great 
lake Ontario, and mostly marched for Oswego, thence 
to be carried over in 200 great whale boats, which were 
then at the lake, and were built at Schenectady, on 
Mohawk's river, and were long, round, and light, as the 
batteaux, being flat-bottomed and small, would not 
answer the navigation of the lake, where the waves 
were often very high. They were then, at last, in- 
tended to attack Fort Frontenac, mentioned before, 
and the other French forts on the lake. Upwards of 
2000 batteaux-men were employed to navigate the 
batteaux, each a ton burthen, laden with provisions and 
stores from Albany, by the Mohawk river, then through 
Oneyda lake and river, down to Oswego. There were 
likewise 300 sailors hired and gone up from New York 
(as I found, when I arrived there) to navigate the four 
armed ships on the lake, built there, as I have before 
mentioned, the last year, for the king*s service, and two 
others were then building — smiths, carpenters, and 
other artificers having gone there for that purpose some 
weeks before. Such were the preparations and arma- 
ments for this campaign; but how fruitless, to our 
disgrace, was soon known all over the world ! 

I shall not trouble the reader with a long account of 


a long march I had to take from New York to Oswego, 
to join my regiment — suffice it therefore, that I arrived 
there about the middle of July. In my march thither, 
with some recruits, we joined Colonel Broadstreet at 
Albany, and on the 6th of May, at the great carrying 
place, had a skirmish with the French and Indians, 
wherein several were killed and wounded on Uoth sides 
— of the latter I made one. Receiving a shot through 
my left hand, which entirely disabled my third and 
fourth fingers; and having no hospital, or any con- 
veniences for the sick there, I was, after having my 
hand dressed in a wretched manner, sent with the next 
batteaux to Albany to get it cured 

As soon as I was well, I set out for Oswego again. 
And, when I arrived there, I began to make what 
observations I could, as to the alterations that had 
been made since the month of October preceding. The 
works of Oswego, at this time, consisted of three forts, 
viz., the Old Fort, built many years before, whose chief 
strength was a weak stone wall, about two feet thick, 
so ill cemented, that it could not resist the force of a 
four pound ball, and situated on the east side of the 
harbour. The two other forts, called Fort Ontario and 
Fort George, were each of them at the distance of about 
450 yards from the Old Fort, and situated on two emi- 
nences, which commanded it Both these, as I have 
already observed, were begun to be built last year, 
upon plans which made them defensible against 
musketry, and cannon of three or four pound ball only, 
the time not allowing works of a stronger nature to be 
then undertaken. 

For our defence against large cannon, we entirely 
depended on a superior naval force upon the lake, 
which might have put it in our power to prevent the 
French from bringing heavy artillery against the place, 
as that could only be done by water carriage,* which is 


my opinion, as well as many others. If the naval force 
had but done their duty, Oswego might have been ours 
to this very day, and entirely cut off the communication 
of the French from Canada to the Ohio ; but if I would 
insist on this, as the particulars require, I perhaps 
should affront some, and injure myself, all to no 
purpose, or of any beneficial service to recall our 
former losses. 

A day or two after, being at Oswego, the fort was 
alarmed by hearing a firing, when, on despatching 
proper scouts, it was found to be the French and In- 
dians engaging the batteaux-men and sailors, conveying 
the provisions to Oswego from one river to another. 
On this, a detachment of 500 men were ordered out in 
pursuit of them, whereof I was one. We had a nanow 
pass in the woods to go through, where we were 
attacked by a great number of Indians, when a des- 
perate fight began on both sides, that lasted about two 
hours. However, at last we gained a complete victory, 
and put them entirely to the rout, killing fourteen of 
them, and wounding above forty. On our side we had 
but two men killed and six wounded. Many more 
would have been killed of both parties, had it not been 
for the thickness of the woods. 

I cannot here omit recounting a most singular 
transaction that happened during this my second time 
of being there, which, though scarce credible, is abso- 
lutely true, and can be testified by hundreds who know 
and have often seen the man. In short, one Moglasky, 
of the 50th regiment, an Irishman, being placed as 
sentinel over the rum which had arrived, and being 
curious to know its goodness, pierced the cask, and 
drank till he was quite intoxicated, when, not knowing 
what he did, he rambled from his post, and fell asleep 
a good way from the garrison. An Indian skulking 
that way for prey (as is conjectured) found him, and 


made free with his scalp, which he plucked and carried 
off. The Serjeant, in the morning, finding him prostrate 
on his face, and seeing his scalp off, imagined him to 
be dead ; but on his nearer approach, and raising him 
from the ground, the fellow awakened from the sound 
sleep he had been in, and asked the Serjeant what he 
wanted. The serjeant, quite surprised at the strange 
behaviour of the fellow, interrogated him, how he camd 
there in that condition ? he replied, he could not tell,' 
but that he had got very drunk^ and rambled he knew not 
whither The serjeant advised him to prepare for 
death, not having many hours to live, as he had lost 
• his scalp. Arrah, my dear now, cries he, and are you 
joking me? for he really knew nothing of his being 
served in the manner he was, and would not believe 
any accident had happened him, until seeing his 
clothes bloody, he felt his head, and found it to be 
too true, as well as having a cut from his mouth to his 
ear. He was immediately carried before the Gover- 
nor, who asked him how he came to leave his post ? 
He replied, that being very thirsty^ he had broached a 
cask of rum^ and drank about a pint^ which made him 
drunk ; but if his Honour would forgive him he^d never 
be guilty of the like again. The Governor told him it 
was very probable he never would, as he was now no 
better than a dead man. However, the surgeons 
dressed his head there as well as they could, and then 
sent him in a batteau to Albany, where he was perfectly 
cured, and to the great surprise of everybody, was 
living when I left the country. This, though so 
extraordinary and unparalled an affair, I aver to be 
true, having several times seen the man after this acci- 
dent happened to him. How his life was preserved 
seems a miracle, as no instance of the like was ever 

I had forgot to mention, that before I left Albany, 


he last time, upon Colonel Broadstreet^s arrival there, 
>n his way to Oswego with the provisions and forces, 
insisting of about 500 whale-boats and batteaux, 
ntended for the campaign on the great lake Ontario, 
aentioned before, I joined his corps, and proceeded 
m with the batteaux, &c 

Going up the river Onondago towards Oswego, the 
)atteaux-men were, on the 29th of June, attacked near 
he falls, about nine miles from Oswego, by 500 French 
ind Indians, who killed and wounded 74 of our 
nen, before we could get on shore, which, as soon as 
ire did, the French were routed, with the loss of 130 
nen killed, and several wounded, whom we took 

Had we known of their lying in ambush, or of their 
ntent to attack us, the victory would have been much 
nore complete on our side, as the troops Colonel Broad- 
^eet commanded were regular, well disciplined, and 
in tolerable health — whereas the French, by a long 
passage at sea, and living hard after their arrival at 
Canada, were much harassed and fatigued. 

However, we got all safe to Oswego with the batteaux 
md provisions, together with the rigging and stores for 
the large vessels, excepting twenty-four cannon, six- 
pounders, that were then at the great carrying place, 
which Colonel Broadstreet was to bring with him, 
upon his next passage from Schenectady, to which place, 
as soon as he had delivered to the Quarter-master all 
the stores under his care, he was ordered to return 
with the batteaux and men to receive the orders of 
Major-General Abercromby. On his return from 
Schenectady, it was expected that Halket's and Dunbar^s 
regiment would have come with him, in order to take 
Fort Frontenac, and the other French forts on lake 
Ontario. But, alas ! as schemes for building castles 
in the air always prove abortive for want of proper 


architecture and foundation, so did this scheme of ours, 
for want of due knowledge of our own situation. 

On the arrival of these forces, a new brigantine and 
sloop were fitted out, and about the same time, a large 
snow was also launched and rigged, and only waited 
for her guns and some running rigging, which they 
expected every day by Colonel Broadstreet ; and had 
he returned in time with the cannon and batteaux-men 
under his command, the French would not dared to 
have appeared on the lake ; but Colonel Broadstreet 
happened to be detained with the batteaux at Schenec- 
tady for above a month, waiting for the 44th regiment 
to march with him. The dilatoriness of his embarka- 
tion at Schenectady cannot be imputed to Colonel 
Broadstreet, because General Shirley waited with im- 
patience for the arrival of Lord Loudon Campbell 
from England ; and when his lordship landed at New I 
York, he, in a few days after, proceeded to Albany, 
where his lordship took the command of the army from 
General Shirley, and upon comparing, and considering 
how bad a situation his forces, and the different govern- 
ments upon the continent were in, his lordship, with 
the advice of several other experienced officers, thought 
himself not in a condition to proceed on any enterprise 
for that season, no farther than to maintain our ground 
at Oswego — for which purpose Colonel Broadstreet 
was immediately ordered off with the batteaux and 
provisions, as also the aforesaid regiments ; but before 
Broadstreet arrived at the great carrying place, Oswego 
was taken, with all the ships of war, although our naval 
force was far superior to the French. ' 

Before I relate the attack of Oswego, I shall review 
a little what the French were doing during these our 
dilatory, pompous proceedings. 

The Marquis de Vandrueil, Governor and Lieutenant- 
Ceneral of New France, whilst he provided for the 


security of the frontiers of Canada, was principally 
attentive to the lakes. Being informed that we were 
making vast preparations at Oswego for attacking 
Niagara and Frontenac, he took and razed, in the - 
month of March, the fort where we had formed our 
principal magazine, and in June following, destroyed 
on the river Chonenan, or Oswego, some of our vessels, 
and made some prisoners. The success of these two 
expeditions encouraged him to act offensively, and to 
attack us at Oswego. This settlement they pretended, 
and still insist on, to be an encroachment, or invasion, 
which we had made in time of profound peace, and 
against which, they said, they had continually remon- 
strated, during our blundering negotiating lawyer's 
residence at France. It was at first, say they, only a 
fortified magazine; but in order to avail themselves of 
its advantageous situation, in the centre almost of the 
French colonies, the English added, from time to time, 
several new works, and made it consist of three forts, as 
above described. 

The troops designed for this expedition by the 
French amounted to near 5000 men, 1300 of which 
were regulars. To prevent his design being discovered, 
M. de Vandrueil pretended, in order the better to de- 
ceive us, who had so long before been blind, that he 
was providing only for the security of Niagara and 
Frontenac. The Marquis de Montcalm, who com- 
manded on this occasion, arrived on the 29th of July 
at Fort Frontenac, and having given the necessary 
directions for securing his retreat, in case it should 
have been rendered inevitable by a superior force, 
sent out two vessels, one of twelve, and the other of 
sixteen guns, to cruise off Oswego, and posted a chain 
of Canadians and Indians, on the road between 
Oswego and Albany, to intercept our couriers. All 
the forces, and the vessels, with the artillery and stores 



being arrived in the bay of Nixoure, the place of 
general rendezvous, the Marquis de Montcalm ordered 
his advanced guard to proceed to a creek called Anse 
aux Cabannes, three leagues from Oswego. 

But, to carry on this account the more accurately 
and intelligibly to the reader, I shall recite the actions 
of the French and ourselves together, as a more 
clear and succinct manner of making those unac- 
quainted with the art of war, more sensible of this 
important affair. 

Colonel Mercer, who was then commanding officer 
of the garrison at Oswego, having, on the 6th of August, 
intelligence of a large encampment of French and 
Indians, about 12 miles off, despatched one of the 
schooners, with an account of it, to Captain Bradley, 
who was then on a cruise with the large brigantine and 
two sloops, at the same time desired him to cruise as 
far to the eastward as he could, and to endeavour to 
prevent the approach of the French on the lake ; but 
meeting the next day with a small gale of wind, the 
large brigantine was drove on shore near Oswego, in 
attempting to get into the harbour — of which mis- 
fortune the Indians immediately gave M. de Montcalm, 
the French General, notice, who took that oppor- 
tunity of transporting his heavy cannon to about a 
mile and a half off the fort, which he could not other- 
wise have done, had not there been some neglect on 
our side. 

For on the loth, the first division of the French 
being arrived at Anse aux Cabannes, at two o'clock in 
the morning, the vanguard proceeded, at four in 
the afternoon, by land, across woods, to another creek 
within half a league of Oswego, in order to favour the 
debarkation. At midnight their first division re- 
paired to this creek, and there erected a battery on 
Lake Ontario. 


Colonel Mercer, on the morning of the loth, on some 
canoes being seen to the eastward, sent out the small 
schooner to make discovery of what they were. She 
was scarce half a mile from the fort, before she dis- 
covered a very large encampment, close under the 
opposite point, being the first division of the French 
troops above-mentioned. On this, the two sloops (the 
large brigantine being still on shore) were sent out with 
orders, if possible, to annoy the enemy — but this was 
to no purpose ; the enemy's cannon being large and 
well pointed, hulled the vessels almost every shot, while 
theirs fell short of the shore. 

This day and the next, the enemy were employed in 
making gabions, faucissons, and fascines, and in cutting 
a road across the woods, from the place of landing, to 
the place where the trenches were to be opened ; and 
the second division of the enemy arriving on the nth 
in the morning, with the artillery and provisions, the 
same immediately landed without any opposition. 
Though dispositions were made for opening the trenches 
on the loth, at night, which was rather a parallel of 
about ICO toises* in front, and opened at the distance 
of about 60 toises from the fosse of Fort Ontario, in 
ground embarrassed with trunks of trees. 

About five in the morning of the i ith, this parallel 
was finished, and the workmen began to erect the 
batteries. Thus was the place invested by about 5000 
men, and 32 pieces of cannon, from 12 to 18 pOunders, 
besides several large brass mortars and hoyets, among 
which artillery was part of General Braddock's. About 
noon they began the attack of Fort Ontario, with small 
arms, which was briskly returned. All this day, the 
garrison was employed on the west side of the river, in 
repairing the batteries on the south side of the Old Fort. 

*A toise is a French measure, and contains about two fathoms or six feet 
in length. 



The next morning (the 12th), at day-break, a large 
number of French batteaux were discovered on the lake, 
on their way to join the enemy's camp, on which, Colonel 
Mercer ordered the two sloops to be again sent out, 
with directions to get between the batteaux and the 
camp; but before our vessels came up, the batteaux 
had secured themselves under the fire of their cannon. 

In the evening a detatchment was made of 100 men 
of the 50th (General PepperelFs) regiment, and 126 of 
the New Jersey provincials, under the command of 
Colonel Schuyler, to take possession of the fort on the 
hill, to the westward of the Old Fort, and under the 
direction of the engineer, Mr. M'Kneller, were to put it 
into the best state of defence they could — in which work 
they were employed all the following night. 

The enemy on the east side continued their approaches 
to the Fort Ontario, but, with their utmost efforts, for 
a long time they could not bring their cannon to bear 
on it. However, drawing their cannon with great ex- 
pedition, next morning (the 13th) about ten o'clock, to 
a battery erected within sixty yards from it, they played 
them very hotly on the garrisons, notwithstanding the 
constant fire kept on them, and the loss of their principal 
engineer, who was killed in the trenches. A council of 
war was immediately held by the officers of General 
Peppereirs regiment, who, observing the mortars were 
beginning to play, concluded it most advisable to quit 
Fort Ontario, and join Colonel Schuyler's regiment at 
Fort George or Fort Rascal ; and an account of this 
latter battery being sent to Colonel Mercer, by the 
commandant of the enemy, ordering him to evacuate 
the fort, they accordingly did, about three in the after- 
noon, destroying the cannon, ammunition, and provisions 
therein, and managed their retreat so as to pass the 
river, and join the troops at the west side, without the 
loss of a man. These troops, being about 370, were 



immediately ordered to join Colonel Schuyler, and were 
employed all the following night in completing the 
works of that fort. 

M. Montcalm immediately took possession of Fort 
Ontario, and ordered the communications of the parallel 
to be continued to the banks of the river, where, in the 
beginning of the night, they began a grand battery, 
placed in such a manner that it could not only batter 
Fort Oswego, and the way from thence to Fort George 
but also the intrenchment of Oswego. 

On the morning of the 13th, the large brigantine 
being off the rocks and repaired, a detachment of eighty 
men of the garrison were put on board of her, and the 
two sloops, in order to go out immediately; but the 
wind continuing to blow directly into the harbour, 
rendered it impossible for them to get out before the 
place was surrendered. This night, as well as the night 
before, parties of the enemy's irregulars made several 
attempts to surprise our advance guards and sentinels 
on the west side of the river, but did not succeed in 
any of them. 

The enemy were employed this night in bringing up 
their cannon and raising a battery. On our side we 
kept a constant fire of cannon and shells from the Old 
Fort, and works about it. The cannon which most 
annoyed the enemy were four pieces which we reversed 
on the platform of an earthen work, which surrounded 
the Old Fort, and which was entirely enfiladed by the 
enemy's battery on the opposite shore. In this situation, 
without the least cover, the train, assisted by a detach- 
ment of Shirley's regiment, behaved remarkably well. 

At day-break, on the 14th, we renewed our fire on 
that part of the opposite shore, where we had the 
evening before observed the enemy at work in raising 
the battery. 

The enemy, in three columns, consisted of 2500 Cana- 


dians and savages, crossed the river, some by swim- 
ming, and others by wading, with the water up to their 
middles, in order to invest and attack the Old Fort. 
This bold action, by which they entirely cut off the 
communication of the two forts; the celerity with which 
the works were carried on, in ground that we thought 
impracticable; a continual return of our fire from a 
battery of ten cannon, twelve pounders; and their 
preparing a battery of mortars and hoyets, made Colonel 
Mercer think it advisable (he not knowing their numbers) 
to order Colonel Schuyler, with 500 men, to oppose 
them ; which would accordingly have been carried into 
execution, and consequently, every man of the 500 cut 
off, had not Colonel Mercer been killed by a cannon ball 
a few minutes after. The resolution of this valiant 
Colonel seemed to be determined to oppose the French 
to the last extremity, and to maintain his ground at 
Oswego, but his final doom came on so unexpectedly, 
that his loss was universally regretted. 

About ten o^clock the enemy's battery was ready to 
play, at which time, all our places of defence were either 
enfiladed, or ruined by the constant fire of their cannon, 
Fort Rascal, or George, in particular, having at that 
time no guns, and scarce in a condition to defend itself 
against small arms — with 2500 irregulars on our backs, 
ready to storm us on that side, and 2000 of their 
regulars as ready to land in our front, under the fire of 
their cannon. 

Fort Rascal might have been made a very defensible 
fortress. Lying on a hill, and the ascent to it so steep, 
that had an enemy been ever so numerous, they must 
have suffered greatly in an attempt to storm it. Why 
it was not in a better state, it becomes not me to say, 
but matters were so; and in this situation we were, 
when Colonel Littlehales, who succeeded Colonel 
Mercer in the command, called a council of war, who 


were, with the engineers, unanimously of opinion, that 
the works were no longer tenable, and that it was by 
no means prudent to risk a storm with such unequd 

The chamade was accordingly ordered to be beat, and 
the fire ceased on both sides^yet the French were 
not idle, but improved this opportunity to bring up 
more cannon, and advanced the main body of their 
troops within musket-shot of the garrison, and prepared 
every thing for a storm. Two officers were sent to the 
French General, to know what terms he would give. 
The Marquis de Montcalm made answer, that they 
might expect whatever terms were consistent with the 
service of his Most Christian Majesty. He accordingly 
agreed to the following : — 


The garrison shall surrender prisoners of war, and shall be conducted 
from hence to Montreal, where they shall be treated with humanity, and 
every one shall have treatment agreeable to their respective ranks, according 
to the custom of war. 


Officers, soldiers, and individuals, shall have their baggage and clothes, 
and they shall be allowed to carry them along with them. 


They shall remain prisoners of war, until they are exchanged. 

Given at the Camp before Oswego, 
August 14th, 1756. 


By virtue of this capitulation, the garrison surren- 
dered prisoners of war, and the French immediately took 
possession of Oswego and Fort George, which they 
entirely destroyed, agreeable to their orders, after 
removing the artillery, warlike stores, and provisions. 

But to describe the plunder, havoc, and devastation 
made by thfe French, as well as the savages, who rushed 


in by thousands, is impossible. For notwithstanding 
the Christian promise made by the General of his Most 
Christian Majesty, they all behaved more like infernal 
beings than creatures in human shapes. In short, not 
contented with surrendering upon the above terms, they 
scalped and killed all the sick and wounded in the 
hospitals ; mangling, butchering, cutting, and chopping 
off their heads, arms, legs, &c., with spades, hatchets, 
and other such diabolical instruments, treating the 
whole with the utmost cruelty, notwithstanding the 
repeated intercessions of the defenceless sick and 
wounded for mercy, which were indeed piteous enough 
to have softened any heart possessed of the minutest 
particle of humanity ! 

Here I cannot help observing that, notwithstanding 
what has been said of the behavour of the officers of 
these (the 50th and 51st) regiments, I must, with the 
greatest truth, give them the characters of brave, but 
I wish I could say, experienced men — every one of 
them I had an opportunity of observing during the 
siege behaving with the utmost courage and intrepidity. 
Nor, in this place, can I omit particularly naming Col. 
James Campbell and Captain Archibald Hamilton, who 
assisted with the greatest spirit and alacrity the private 
men at the great guns. But for such an handful of 
men as our garrison then consisted of, and the works 
being of such a weak and defenceless nature, to have 
made a longer defence, or have caused the enemy to 
raise the siege, would have been such an instance as 
England for many years hath not experienced, and I 
am afraid will be many more before it will, for reasons 
that are too obvious. 

The quantity of stores and ammunition we then had 
in the three forts is almost incredible. But of what avail 
are powder and balls if walls and ramparts are defence- 
less, and men insufficient to make use of them ? In short, 


the French, by taking this place, make themselves 
masters of the following things, all which were im- 
mediately sent to Frontenac, viz., seven pieces of brass 
cannon, nineteen, fourteen, and twelve pounders; 
forty-eight iron cannon, of nine, six, five, three, and two 
pounders ; a brass mortar of nine inches four-twelfths, 
and thirteen others of six and three inches; forty- 
seven swivel guns ; 23,ooolbs. of gunpowder ; Sooplbs. 
of lead and musket ball; 2950 cannon balls; 150 
bombs of nine inches, and 300 more of six inches 
diameter; 1426 grenadoes, 1070 muskets; a vessel 
pierced for eighteen guns ; the brigantine of sixteen, a 
gceletta of ten, a batteau of ten (the sloops already 
mentioned), another of eight guns, a skiff of eighteen 
swivels, and another burnt upon the stocks; 704 barrels 
of biscuit, 1386 firkins of bacon and beef; 712 firkins 
of meal ; thirty-two live oxen ; fifteen hogs, and a large 
sum of money in the military chest, amounting, as the 
French said, to 18,594 livres. 

On the 1 6th, they began to remove us. The officers 
were first sent in batteaux, and 200 soldiers a day 
afterwards, till the whole were gone, being carried 
first to Montreal, and from thence to Quebec. Our duty 
in the batteaux, till we reached the first place, was very 
hard and slavish ; and durmg the time we were on the 
lake and river St. Lawrence, it appeared very easy and 
feasible for Commodore Bradley, had he thought proper, 
to have destroyed all the enemy's batteaux, and have 
prevented them from ever landing their cannon within 
forty miles of the fort. But he knew his own reasons 
for omitting this piece of service best. 

Our party arrived at Montreal in Canada on the 28th. 
We were that night secured in the fort, as were the rest 
as they came in. The French used various means to 
win some of our troops over to their interests, or, at least, 
to do their work in the fields, which many refused, 


among whom was myself — who were then conducted on 
board a ship, and sent to Quebec, where, arriving on 
the 5 th of September, we were lodged in a goal, and 
kept there for the space of one month. 

During this our captivity, many of our men, rather 
than lie in a prison, went out to work and assist the 
French in getting in their harvest, they having then 
scarce any people left in that country but old men, 
women, and children, so that the corn was continually 
falling into the stubble for want of hands to reap it j 
but those who did go out, in two or three days, chose 
confinement again rather than liberty on such terms, 
being almost starved, having nothing in the country to 
live on but dry bread, whereas we in the prison were 
each of us allowed two lbs. of bread and half-a-pound of 
meat a day, and otherwise treated with a good deal of 

Eighteen soldiers were all the guard they had to place 
over us, who, being greatly fatigued with hard duty, 
and dreading our rising on them, which, had we had 
any arms, we might easily have done, and ravaged the 
country round, as it was then entirely defenceless ; and 
the town's people themselves fearing the consequences 
of having such a number of men in a Iplace where 
provisions were at that time very scarce and dear, they 
thought of sending us away, the most eligible way of 
keeping themselves from famine, and accordingly put 
1500 of us on board a vessel for England. 

But before I continue the account of our voyage home 
to our native country, I shall just make a short retro- 
spection on the consequences that attended the loss of 
Oswego, as appeared to us and the rest of the people 
at Quebec, who knew that part of America to which 
this important place was a safeguard. 

As soon as Oswego was taken, our only communication 
from the Mohawk's river to the lake Oneida was stopped 


up, by filling the place at Wood's Creek with great logs 
and trees for many miles together. A few day after- 
wards, the forts at the great carrying place, and then 
our most advanced post into the country of the Six 
Nations, which I have before given a short account of 
(and where there were at that time above 3000 men, 
including 1200 batteaux-men, and which still gave the 
Six Nations some hopes that we would defend their 
country against the French), were abandoned and de- 
stroyed, and the troops which were under the command 
of General Webb retreated to Burnef s Field, and left 
the country and the Six Nations to the mercy of the 

The French, immediately after the taking of Oswego, 
demolished, as it is said before, all the works there, and 
returned with their prisoners and booty to Ticonderago, 
to oppose our provincial army, under the command of 
General Winslow, who had shamefully been kept in 
expectation of the dilatory arrival of Lord Loudon, from 
attacking Crown Point, while the enemy were weak, 
and it was easily in our power to have beat them. 

The consequences of the destruction of our forts at 
the great carrying place, and General Webb's retreating 
to Burnet's Field, is now, alas ! too apparent to every 
one acquainted with American affairs. The Indians of 
the Six Nations undoubtedly looked upon it as aban- 
doning them and their country to the French, for they 
plainly saw that we had no strong hold near them, and 
that (by the place at Wood's Creek being stopped) we 
could not, if we would, afford them any assistance at 
Onondago, Cayuga, and the Senekea's country, which 
were their chief castles — that the forts begun by us in 
those countries were left unfinished, and therefore could 
be of no use to them, and which, if we had kept the 
carrying place, we might have finished, and given them 
still hopes of our being able to defend them. 


But despairing of our being further serviceable to 
them, those Iroquois, who were before our friends, and 
some of the others, have indeed deserted us, and the 
consequences of such their junctions with the French 
was soon after felt in the loss of Fort George on Lake 

The fine country on the Mohawk*s river, down to 
Albany, was by this step left open to the ravages of the 
enemy, and an easy passage opened to the French and 
their Indians into the provinces of Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, by the way of Susquehana and Delaware 
rivers, which were before covered by our settlements 
on the Mohawk's river, and the Six Nations. 


I SHALL here give the best description of the Indians, 
their way of living, &c., in my power. 

It is difficult to guess what may be the number of 
the Indians scattered up and down our back settlements; 
but if their own account be true, they amount to many 
thousands. Be this, however, as it will, they are not to 
be feared merely on account of their numbers — other 
circumstances conspire to make them formidable. The 
English inhabitants, though numerous, are extended 
over a vast track of land, 500 leagues in length on the 
sea shore, and for the most part have fixed inhabitations, 
the easiest and shortest passages to which the Indians, 
by continually hunting in the woods, are perfectly well 
acquainted with ; and as their way of making war is 
by sudden attacks upon exposed places, as soon as they 
have done the mischief at one place they retire, and 
either go home by some different route, or go to 
some distant place to renew their attacks. If they are 
pursued, it is a chance if they do not ensnare their 
pursuers, or if that be not the case, as soon as they have 


gained the rivers, so dexterous are they in the use of 
their canoes, that they presently get out of reach. It 
is to no purpose to follow them to their settlements, for 
they can, without much disadvantage, quit their old 
habitations and betake themselves to new ones — add to 
this, that they can be suddenly drawn together from 
any distance, as they can find their subsistence in 
travelling from their guns. 

No people on earth have a higher sense of liberty or 
stronger affection for their relations. When offended, 
they are the most implacable vindictive enemies on ; 
earth, for no distance of place or space of time will 
abate their resentment, but they will watch every 
opportunity of revenge, and when such opportunity * 
offers, they revenge themselves effectully. y 

They will sooner sacrifice their own lives for the sake 
of liberty than humble themselves to the arbitrary 
control of any person whatsoever. In battle they never 
submit, and will die rather than be taken prisoners. 

Our late transactions in America testify that the 
friendship of the Indians is to be desired, and the only 
way to maintain a friendly correspondence with them 
is by making such propositions to them as will secure 
their liberties, and be agreeable to their expectations ; 
and not only by keeping these propositions inviolable 
as well as in time of peace as in time of war, but also re- 
newing our treaties with them from time to time, for 
they are very jealous and tenacious of an affront or 
neglect. They are very proud, and love to be esteemed. 
In time of peace they live upon what they get from the 
white people, for which they barter skins, furs, &c. 
Their clothing, and every thing else they want, such as 
arms, they get in the same manner. In war time, they 
live upon what they can procure by their gun, and if 
that fails, upon roots, fruits, herbs, and other vegetables 
of the natural produce of the earth. 


They have never the foresight to provide necessaries 
for themselves —they look only to the present moment, 
and leave to-morrow to provide for itself They eat of 
every wild beast which they kill, without distinction. 
They always prefer game to vegetables ; but when they 
cannot get venison, they live on roots, fruits, and herbs. 
They destroy a great deal of meat at a time, when they 
have it in their power, and when they leave any, be it 
ever such a great quantity, it is rare if any of them 
will take the trouble to carry a pound of it, but will 
rather leave it behind them ; yet, notwithstanding this 
extravagance, such are their tempers, and they are so 
inured to hardships, that if they cannot conveniently 
get at food, they can and actually do fast sometimes 
for near a week together, and yet are as active as if 
they had lived regularly. All their spare time is taken 
up in contriving schemes to succeed in their intended 
expeditions. They can never be taken in a pursuit by 
any European. They will travel seventy miles a-day, 
and continue for months together, as I have reason to 
know from experience, and they are sure to bring their 
pursuers into a snare, if they are not wary, and have 
some Indians on their side to beat the bushes. When 
they are overtaken with sleep, they light a great fire, 
which prevents the wild beasts from falling upon them, 
for wild beasts have a natural aversion to fire — nor is 
it easy for an enemy to discover them in this condition 
— for the country is oue continued tract of thick wood, 
overgrown with brushwood, so that you cannot see the 
fire till you be within a few yards of it. They have 
nothing covering them from the inclemency of the 
weather but a blanket, something in the shape of a 
Highlander's plaid. 

And further, to prevent their being long observed by 
their pursuers, or to be seen too soon when they have 
a mind to attack any plantation, they paint themselves 


of the same colour with the trees, among which they 

When they are to attack a plantation, they never 
come out till night, and then they rush instantly upon 
the farms, &c, and destroy everything, as well men, 
women, and children, as beasts — then they fall to 
plunder, and return to their lurking holes till another 
opportunity of plunder happens, when they renew their 
attack in the same manner — so that if some method is 
not taken to draw them into our interest, our colonies 
will be in continual alarm, and the country will soon 
become desolate, for nobody will venture their lives to 
settle on the back parts, unless the Indians are our 

The Indian manner of fighting is quite different from 
that of other nations. They industriously avoid all 
open engagements; and, besides ambuscades, their 
principal way is bush fighting, in the exercises of which 
they are very dexterous — for the back country being 
one continued wood, except some few spots cleared for 
the purpose of husbandry by our back settlers, the 
Indians squat themselves down behind the trees, and 
fire their muskets at the enemy. If the enemy ad- 
vances, then they retreat behind other trees, and fire 
in the same manner, and as they are good marksmen, 
they never fire in vain, whereas their pursuers seldom 

Notwithstanding the political schemes of France are 
nearly brought to a period, yet if the Indians are not 
satisfied with the conclusion of a peace between us and 
the French as to America, I mean unless they are 
fairly dealt with, we shall gain but little by all our 
conquests — for it is the friendship of the Indians that 
will make Canada valuable to us. We have already 
more lands than we are able to manage; but the 
advantage, nay, the necessity of keeping Canada I have 


already shewn, and therefore I shall go on with my 
account of the Indians. 

When last in London, I remember to have heard some 
coffee-house politicians, chagrined at the devastations 
they made on our back settlements, say, that it would 
be an easy matter to root out the savages by clearing 
the ground. I answer, that the task may seem easy 
to them, but the execution of such a scheme on such a 
track of land would be so difficult, that I doubt whether 
there are people enough in Great Britain and Ireland 
to accomplish it in a hundred years' time, were they to 
meet with no opposition ; but where there is such a 
subtile enemy to deal with, I am afraid we should make 
but little progress in reducing the Indians, even allow- 
ing the country to be all cleared, as there are hills and 
other fastnesses to which the Indian can retire, and 
where they would greatly have the better of every 
attempt to dislodge them. The only way I would 
advise is, to keep friends with the Indians, and en- 
deavour to prevail on them to settle in the same manner 
as the planters do, which they will be more easily 
brought to, if the French are excluded from Canada. 
For, notwithstanding their wandering way of life, I 
have the greatest reason to believe they have no dislike 
to an easy life. And as they have no temptations 
to murder, as they had when stirred up by the subjects 
of his Most Christian Majesty, they will soon become 
useful members of society. 

When the English first arrived in the American 
colonies, they found the woods inhabited by a race of 
people uncultivated in their manners, but not quite 
devoid of humanity. They were strangers to litera- 
true, ignorant of the liberal arts, and destitute of 
almost every conveniency of life. 

But if they were unpractised in the art of more 
civilized nations, they were also free from their vices. 


They seemed perfect in two parts of the ancient Persian 
education, namely, shooting with the bow, and speaking 
truth. In their dealings, they commonly exchange one 
commodity for another. Strangers themselves to fraud, 
they had an entire confidence in others. Accprding to 
their abilities they were generous and hospitable. 
Happy, thrice happy had they been, if, still preserving 
their native innocence and simplicity, they had only 
been instructed in the knowledge of God, and the 
doctrines of Christianity ; and hadthey been taught some 
of the more useful parts of life, and to lay aside what 
was wild and savage in their manners ! 

They received the English upon their first arrival 
with open arms, treated them kindly, and shewed an 
earnest desire that they should settle and live with 
them. They freely parted with some of their lands to 
their new-come brethren, and cheerfully entered into a 
league of friendship with them. As the English were 
in immediate want of subsistance of the Indians, they, 
on their part, endeavoured to make their coming 
agreeable. Thus they lived for some years in the 
mutual exchange of friendly offices. Their houses were 
open to each other, they treated one another as brothers. 
But by their different way of living, the English soon 
acquired property, while the Indians continued in their 
former indigence — hence the former found they could 
easily live without the latter, and therefore became less 
anxious about preserving their friendship. This gave 
a check to that mutual hospitality that had hitherto 
subsisted between them; and this, together with the 
decrease of game for hunting, arising from the increase 
of the English settlements, induced the Indians to 
remove farther back into the woods. 

From this time the natives began to be treated as a 
people of whom an advantage might be taken. As the 
trade with them was free and open, men of loose and 


abandoned characters engaged in it, and practised every 
fraud. Before the coming of the white people, the 
Indians never tasted spirituous liquors, and, like most 
barbarians, having once tasted, became immoderately 
fond thereof^ and had no longer any government of 
themselves. The traders availed themselves of this 
weakness. Instead of carrying our clothes to cover the 
naked savages, they carried them rum, and thereby 
debauched their manners, weakened their constitutions, 
introduced disorders unknown to them before, and in 
short corrupted and ruined them. 

The Indians, finding the ill effects of this trade, began 
to complain. Wherefore laws were made, prohibiting 
any from going to trade with them without a licence 
from the Governor, and it was also made lawful for the 
Indians to stave the casks, and spill what rum was 
brought among them — but this was to little purpose ; 
the Indians had to little command of themselves to do 
their duty, and were easily prevailed upon not to execute 
this law, and the design of the former was totally 
evaded, by men of some character taking out licences 
to trade, and then employing under them persons of no 
honour or principle, generally servants and convicts 
transported hither from Britain and Ireland, whom they 
sent with goods into the Indian country to trade on 
their account. These getting beyond the reach of the 
law, executed unheard-of villainies upon the natives, 
committing crimes which modesty forbids me to name, 
and behaving in a manner too shocking to be related 

At every treaty which the Indians held with the 
English they complained of the abuses they suffered 
from the traders, and trade as then carried on. They 
requested that the traders might be recalled, but all to 
no purpose. They begged in the strongest terms that 
no rum might be suffered to come among them ; but 
were only told they were at liberty to spill all rum 


brought into their country. At this time little or no 
pains were taken to civilize or instruct them in the 
Christian religion, till at length the conduct of traders^ 
professing themselves of that religion, gave the Indians 
an almost invincible prejudice against it. Besides, as 
these traders travelled among distant nations of the 
Indians, and were in some sort the representatives of 
the English nation, from them the Indians formed a very 
unfavourable opinion of our whole nation, and easily 
believed every misrepresentation made of us by our 
enemies. There are instances in history where the 
virtues and disinterested behaviour of one man has 
prejudiced whole nations of barbarians in favour of the 
people to whom he belonged; and is it then to be 
wondered at if the Indians conceived a rooted prejudice 
against us, when not one, but a whole set of men, 
viz., all of our nation that they had an opportunity 
of seeing or conversing with, were persons of a loose and 
abandoned behavour, insincere and faithless, without 
religion, virtue, or morality? No one will think I 
exaggerate these matters who has either known the 
traders themselves, or who has read the public treaties. 
If to this be added, what I find in the late treaties, 
that they have been wronged in some of their lands, 
what room will there be any longer to wonder that we 
have so little interest with them ; that their conduct 
towards us is of late so much changed, that, instead of 
being a security and protection to us, as they have been 
hitherto during the several wars between us and the 
French, they are now turned against us and become 
our enemies, principally on account of the fraudulent 
dealings and immoral conduct of those heretofore em- 
ployed in our trade with them, who have brought 
dishonour upon our religion, and disgrace on our nation? 
It nearly concerns us, if possible, to wipe off these re- 
proaches, and to redeem our character, which can only 


be done by regulating the trade ; and this the Indians, 
with whom the government of Philadelphia lately 
treated, demanded and expected of us. 

At present, a favourable opportunity presents for 
doing it effectually. All those who were engaged in this 
trade are, by the present troubles, removed from it ; and 
it is to be hoped that the legislature will fall upon 
measures to prevent any such from ever being concerned 
in it again. This is only the foundation upon which we 
can expect a lasting peace with the natives. It is evident 
that a great deal depends upon the persons who are to 
be sent into the Indian country — from these alone the 
Indians will form a judgment of us, our religion, and 
manners. If these then, who are to be our represen- 
tatives among the Indians be men of virtue and integrity, 
sober in their conversation, honest in their dealings, 
and whose practice corresponds with their profession, 
the judgement formed of us will be favourable ; if, on the 
contrary, they be loose and profane persons, men of 
wicked lives and profligate morals, we must expect that 
among the Indians our religion will pass for a jest, and 
we, in general, for a people faithless and despicable. 


I SHALL now proceed to give a concise account of the 
climates, produce, trade, &c., of North America. And 


The province of New England appears to be vastly 
extensive, being about 400 miles in length, and near 300 
in breadth, situated between 69 and 73 deg. W. long., 
and between 41 and 46 deg. N. laL It was first 
settled by the Independents, a little before the com- 
mencement of the civil wars in England ; they trans- 


ported themselves thither, rather ihan communicate 
with the church of England. 

The lands next the sea in New England are generally 
low, and the soil sandy ; but further up the country it 
rises into hills, and on the north east it is rocky and 
mountainous. The winters are much severer here than 
in Old England, though it lies nine or ten degrees more 
south, but they have usually a clearer sky and more 
settled weather both in winter and summer, than in Old 
England ; and though their summers are shorter, the 
air is considerably hotter while it lasts. The winds are 
very boisterous in the winter season, and the north 
wind blowing over a long track of frozen and uncultivated 
countries, with several fresh water lakes, makes it 
excessively cold The rivers are sometimes congealed 
in a night's time. The climate is generally hedthful, 
and agreeable to English constitutions. 

The fruits of Old England come to great perfection 
here, particularly peaches, which are planted trees, and 
we have commonly 1200 or 1400 fine peaches on such 
a tree at one time. Of the fruit of one single apple tree, 
in one 'season, nine barrels of cider have been made. 
English wheat I find does not thrive here, within 40 or 
50 miles of Boston; but further up the country they 
have it in great plenty, and I think it comes to the 
same perfection as in Britain. Now, why wheat should 
not grow near this city I confess I can assign no reason 
that will fully satisfy the reader's curiosity. The con- 
jectures upon it are various ; some venture to say that 
it was occasioned by the unjust persecution of the 
Quakers, the Independents having vented their spleen 
against them in a way the most rigorous, and in fiat 
contradiction to the laws of Christianity. All other 
grain but wheat thrives in this place with great suc- 
cess — in particular, Indian corn, one grain whereof 
frequently produces 200, and sometimes 2000 grains. 



This com is of three different colours, viz., blue, white, 
and yellow. 


The situation of this province is between 72 and 76 
W. long., and between 41 and 44 N. lat, about 200 
miles in length, and 100 miles in breadth. The lands 
in the Jerseys and south part of New York are low and 
flat ; but as you ascend twenty or thirty miles up 
Hudson's river, the country is rocky and mountainous. 
The air is much milder here in winter than in New 
England, and in summer it is pretty much the same. 
The produce and trade of New York and the Jerseys 
consist in cattle, and a good breed of horses. They 
have plenty of wheat and other grain, such as Indian 
com, buck-wheat, oats, barley, and rye. It abounds 
also with stores of fish. They supply the Sugar Islands 
with flour, salt beef, pork, salt fish, and timber planks, 
in retum for the produce raised there. 


The extent of this colony is 200 miles in length, and 
200 miles in breadth. The soil is much better than in 
Jersey, chiefly consisting of a black mould. The country 
rises gradually as in the adjacent provinces, having the 
Apalachian Mountains on the west, and is divided into 
six counties. The air, it lying in the 40 deg. of N. lat 
is near the same as in New York, and very healthy to 
English constitutions. The produce and merchandise 
of Pennsylvania consists in horses, pipe staves, beef, 
pork, salt fish, skins, furs, and all sorts of grain, viz., 
wheat, rye, pease, oats, barley, buck-wheat, Indian com, 
Indian pease, beans, potashes, wax, &c., and in return 
for these commodities, they import from the Carribbee 
Islands and other places, rum, sugar, molasses, silver, 
negroes, salt, and clothing of all sorts, hardware, &c. 
The nature of the soil in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, 


and New York, is extremely proper to produce hemp, 
flax, &c. 

If the government of Pennsylvania, since the death 
of its first proprietor, William Penn, had taken proper 
methods to oblige the traders to deal justly with the 
Indians, whose tempers, when exasperated with resent- 
ment, are more savage than the hungry lion, these 
disasters might have been in a good degree prevented. 

I intend to conclude this argument in a few words, 
and shall endeavour to do justice on both sides by 
adhering strictly to truth. Know therefore, that within 
these late years, the Indians, being tolerably acquainted 
with the nature of our commerce, have detected the 
roguery of some of the traders, whereupon they lodged 
many and grievous complaints to Colonel Weiser, the 
interpreter between them and the English, of the 
injurious and fraudulent usage they had received for 
several years backwards from white people, who had 
cheated them out of their skins and furs, not giving 
them one quarter their value for them. 

Likewise they remonstrated, that whereas hunting 
was the chief way or art they ever had to earn a 
livelihood by, game was now become very scarce, 
because the whites practiced it so much on their ground, 
destroying their prey. Colonel Weiser, their interpreter, 
advised them to bring down their skins and furs to 
Philadelphia themselves, promising that he would take 
proper care to see their goods vended to their advantage. 
Whereupon they did so, in pursuance of his instructions, 
and finding it their interest, resolved to continue in the 
way he had chalked out for them — for now they were 
supplied with every thing they wanted from the 
merchants' shops, at the cheapest rates. And thus it 
plainly appeared to the Indians that they had been long 
imposed on by the traders, and therefore they were 
determined to have no more dealings with them. This 


conduct and shyness of the Indians was very dis- 
agreeable to several gentlemen of the province, who 
were nearly interested in that species of commerce. 

Accordingly, in the year 1753 and 1754, some of the 
traders had the assurance to renew their friendship with 
them, when, instead of remitting them clothes and 
other necessaries as had been usual and were most 
proper for them, they, with insidious purposes, carried 
them large quantities of rum in small casks, which they 
knew the natives were fond of, under the colour of 
giving it them gratis. In this manner were the savages 
inveigled into liquor by the whites, who took the 
opportunity, while they were intoxicated, of going off 
with their skins and furs ; but the natives, recovering 
from the debauch, soon detected the villainy, and in 
revenge killed many of the traders, and went directly 
over to the French, who encouraged them to slay every 
English person they could meet with, and destroy their 
houses by fire, giving them orders to spare neither man, 
woman, nor child. Besides, as a further incitement to 
diligence in this bloody task, they promised the savages 
a reward of j£i^ sterling for every scalp they should 
take, on producing the same before any of his Most 
Christian Majesty's ofKicers civil or military. 

Thus our perfidious enemies instigated those unrea- 
sonable barbarians to commence acts of depredation, 
violence, and murder, on the several inhabitants of 
North America in 1754, and more especially in Penn- 
sylvania, as knowing it to be the most defenceless 
province on the continent. This consideration promted 
the savage race to exhaust their malicious fury on it 
in particular. 


This country extends about 150 miles in length and 
137 miles in breadth. The lands are low and fiat next 


the sea ; towards the heads of rivers they rise into hills, 
and beyond lie the Apalachian mountains, which are 
exceeding high. The air of this province is excessive 
hot some part of the summer, and equally cold in the 
winter, when the north-west wind blows; but the 
winters are not of so long duration here as in some 
other colonies adjoining to it In the spring of the 
year they are infested with thick heavy fogs that rise 
from the low lands, which render the air more unhealthy 
for English constitutions, and hence it is that, in the 
aforesaid season, the people are constantly afflicted with 

The produce of this country is chiefly tobacco, 
planted and cultivated here with much application, and 
nearly the same success as in Virginia, and their princi- 
pal trade with England is in that article. It also affords 
them most sorts of the grain and fruits of Europe and 


The extent of this province is computed to be 260 
miles in length, and 220 miles in breadth, being mostly 
flat land. For 100 miles up the country there is scarce 
a hill or a stone to be seen, The air and seasons (it 
lying between 36 and 39 of north lat.) depend very 
much oh the wind, as to heat and cold, dryness and 
moisture. The north and north-west winds are very 
nitrous and piercing cold, or else boisterous and stormy, 
the south and south-east winds, hazy and sultry hot. 
In winter they have a fine clear air, which renders it 
very pleasant. The frosts are short, but sometimes so 
very sharp, that rivers are frozen over three miles broad. 
Snow often falls in large quantities, but seldom continues 
above two or three days at most 

The soil, though generally sandy and shallow, produces 
tobacco of the best quality, in great abundance. The 


people's usual food is Indian corn, made into hominy, 
boiled to a pulp, and comes the nearest to buttered 
wheat of any thing I can compare it to. They have 
horses, cows, sheep, and hogs, in prodigious plenty, many 
of the last running wild in the woods. The regulation 
kept here is much the same as in New England — every 
man, from sixteen to sixty years of age, is enlisted into 
the militia, and mustered once a year at a general 
review, and four times a year by troops and companies. 
Their military complement, by computation, amounts 
to about 30,000 effective men ; the collective number 
of the inhabitants, men, women, and children, to 
100,500, and, including servants and slaves, to twice 
that number. 


This colony is computed to extend 660 miles in 
length ; but its breadth is unknown. The lands here are 
generally low and flat, and not a hill to be seen from 
St Augustine to Virginia, and a great way beyond It 
is mostly covered with woods, where the planters have 
not cleared it About 100 miles west of the coast it 
shoots up into eminences, and continues to rise gradually 
all along to the Apalachian Mountains, which are about 
160 miles distant from the oceail. The north parts of 
Carolina are very uneven, but the ground is extremely 
proper for producing wheat, and all other sorts of grain 
that grow in Europe will come to great perfection here. 
The south parts of Carolina, if properly cultivated, might 
be made to produce silk, wine, and oil. This country 
yields large quantities of rice, of which they yearly ship 
off to other colonies about 80,000 barrels, each barrel 
containing 4 cwt. ; besides, they make abundance 
of tar, pitch, and turpentine. They carry on also a 
great trade with deer skins and furs, to all places of 
Europe, which the English receive from the Indians in 


barter for guns, powder, knives, scissors, looking-glasses, 
beads, mm, tobacco, coarse cloth, &c. 

The English chapmen carry their pack horses about 
600 miles into the country, west of Charlestown ; but 
most of the commerce is confined within the limits of 
the Creek and Cherokee nations, which do not lie above 
350 miles from the coast. The air is very temperate 
and agreeable both summer and winter. Carolina is 
divided into two distinct provinces, viz.. North and 
South Carolina. 


This colony extends about 600 miles in length, and 
450 in breadth. The air is pretty much the same as 
in Old England, the soil is, for the most part, barren ; 
but where it is cleared and cultivated, it affords good 
corn and pasture. Here is fine timber, and fit for 
building, from whence pitch and tar may be extracted. 
Here also hemp and flax will grow, so that this country 
will be capable of furnishing all manner of naval stores. 
It abounds likewise with deer, wild fowl, and all sorts 
of game. On the coast is one of the finest cod-fisheries 
in the world European cattle, viz., sheep, oxen, swine, 
horses, &c, they have in great abundance. The winters 
are very cold, their frosts being sharp, and of long 
duration — their summers moderately hot — so that the 
climate, in the main, seems to be agreeable to English 


I shall close the description of the American colonies 
with a short account of the soil and produce of French 
Canada. Its extent is, according to their map, 1800 
miles in length, and 1260 in breadth. The soil in the 
low lands near the river St. Lawrence will indeed raise 
wheat ; but, withal, I found it so shallow, that it would 


not produce that grain above two years, unless it was 
properly manured. About twenty miles from the said 
river, so hilly and mountainous is the country, that 
nothing but Indians and wild ravenous beasts resort 
there. However, they have plenty of rye, Indian corn, 
buck-wheat, and oats, likewise of horses, cows, sheep, 
swine, &c. But I have observed that fruits of any kind 
do not come to such perfection here as in some of the 
English settlements, which is owing to the long duration 
and excessive cold of their winters. The summer is 
short and temperately hot The climate, in general, 
is healthy and agreeable to European constitutions. 


It is now high time to return to the embarkation at 
Quebec. Five hundred of us, being to be sent to 
England, were put on board La Renomme, a French 
packet-boat. Captain Dennis Vitree, commander. We 
sailed under a flag of truce, and though the French 
behaved with a good deal of politeness, yet we were 
almost starved for want of provisions. One biscuit, 
and two ounces of pork a day being all our allowance, 
and half dead with cold, having but few clothes, and the 
vessel being so small that the major part of us were 
obliged to be upon deck in all weathers. After a 
passage of six weeks, we, at last, to our great joy, 
arrived at Plymouth, on the 6th of November, 1756. 
But these our troubles and hardships were not, as we 
expected, put an end to for some time — scruples arising 
to the Commissaries and Admiral there about taking us 
on shore, as there was no cartel agreed on between the 
French and English, we were confined on board until 
the determination of the Lords of the Admirality should 
be known. Lying there in a miserable condition seven 
or eight days, before we received orders to disembark, 

which, when we were permitted to do, being ordered 
from thence, in different parties, to Totness, Kingsburgh, 
Newton Bushel, Newton Abbot, in Devonshire, I was 
happy in being quartered at Kingsbridge, where I met 
with such civility and entertainment as I had for a long 
time been a stranger to. 

In about four months we were again ordered to 
Plymouth dock, to be drafted into other regiments, 
where, on being inspected, I was, on account of the 
wound I had received in my hand, discharged as inca- 
pable of further service, and was allowed the sum of six 
shillings to carry me home to Aberdeen, near the place 
of my nativity. But finding that sum insufficient to 
subsist me half the way, I was obliged to make my 
application to the honourable gentlemen of the city of 
York, who, on considering my necessity, and reviewing 
my manuscript on the transactions of the Indians herein 
before mentioned, thought proper to have it printed for 
my own benefit, which they cheerfully subscribed unto. 
And after disposing of several of my books through the 
shire, I took the first opportunity of going in quest of 
my relations at Aberdeen. • 

After so long an absence, my personal appearance 
must no doubt recall to the memory of my friends, the 
manner of my being carried off in my infancy, and they 
must receive me with wonder and amazement, whom 
they had for many years deemed for lost. The satis- 
faction my presence gave them, of which they had been 
so long deprived, it is not to be expressed ; and the 
comfort I enjoyed in the prospect of seeing my nearest 
relations, was in some degree a solace for the miseries 
I had undergone. 


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